Thursday, January 08, 2009

Stuck in the dark

I love CS Lewis. His allegory is as thick as possible, yet I love it. Allegory is essentially a story with a hidden motive. A teaching story, if you will.

In The Silver Chair, Puddleglum, Eustace and Jill are all trapped in a cavernous underground world where they begin conversations with an evil witch who claims to be the "Queen of the Underworld." This witch immediately begins to raise doubt in the heart of the three. She mocks the children and Puddleglum's belief that anything exists outside of the underworld.
They speak of the visible sun, and she asks what the sun is. They compare it to a giant lamp, to which the witch laughs. She says, "When you try to think clearly what this sun must be, you cannot tell me. You can only tell me it is like the lamp. Your sun is a dream; and there is nothing in that dream that was not copied from the lamp."
They speak of Aslan, the great lion king of Narnia, and the witch mocks that they've simply seen a cat and have imagained a make-believe giant cat.
The children begin to crumble and doubt. Could it be true? Does nothing exist? They chant hypnotically with the witch, "There never was any world but mine". The children forget all and succumb to her trance.
Finally, at the end, when all has failed, Puddleglum says, "Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that ... the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this blck pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow."
I love that. And I've found myself saying almost the exact same things to people. "Well, you may be right, God may not exist and Heaven and Hell may be myths. But I've seen people on the edge of suicide be overcome with joy. I've seen lives transformed. I've met and am in constant intimacy with the creator king of the world, and he loves me passionately. I long for death and the world to come without fear or doubt, and I couldn't be more joyful. I would much rather play in the 'mythological' Christian worldview than one that crushes all hope and joy. I'll take my Christ."
Who will you take today?

No comments: