Monday, December 19, 2011

The best passage in all of literature


As you know, I am reading through The Chronicles of Narnia right now. I can't say enough about the perfection of these books-- they are . . . perfect. They are entertaining, quick to read, didactic, and most of all, they point to the wonderment of Jesus.

My favorite passage in all of the Chronicles, and therefore in all of literature, comes from The Horse and His Boy. I hope you've read it, but in case you haven't, here's a little back story:

In a far-off land, a young boy named Shasta meets a talking horse from Narnia who convinces him to run away from his cruel master. Together, they encounter many dangers on their long journey to Narnia, not the least of which are all the lions that plague them. One night, Shasta --yet again--is met with a lion.This time, the lion walks quietly beside Shasta until Shasta speaks to him. The lion, who is of course Aslan but is referred to in this passage as "the Voice", asks Shasta to tell his story. Shasta recounts the past few weeks, including the many examples of his "bad luck" with lions.

     "There was only one lion," said the Voice.
     "What on earth do you mean? I've just told you there were at least two the first night, and --"
     "There was only one; but he was swift of foot."
     "How do you know?"
     "I was the lion." And as Shasta gaped with open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. "I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you."

    Shasta was no longer afraid that the Voice belonged to something that would eat him, nor that it was the voice of a ghost. But a new and different sort of trembling came over him. Yet he felt glad too . . . after one glance at the Lion's face, he slipped out of the saddle and fell at its feet. He couldn't say anything but then he didn't want to say anything, and he knew he needn't say anything.

Wow. How little we understand. How little we acknowledge God's sovereignty. How little we are in the greatness of God.

If ever there was a true instrument of God in the last century, surely it was CS Lewis. Thank you, God, for CS Lewis. And thank you, God, most of all, for Jesus. May we heed your Voice and believe in your plan.


  1. A wonderful paradox: the lion as dangerous or the lion as gentle and caring. May we have the grace to hold the paradox well.

  2. Found you through Money-Saving Mom...great post on your saving, by the way! Just wanted to say that we did the entire Chronicles of Narnia series as a read-aloud a couple of years ago and my girls loved it! We're looking forward to doing it again when my youngest two are old enough. Fantastic books, they are!