Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"All these things are against me"

Today I'm taking a break from posts on giving thanks. Earlier I was thinking about feeling sorry for myself.....and that reminded me of one of my favorite parts in The Horse and His Boy from The Chronicles of Narnia, where Shasta has reached Narnia and is trying to go warn the King of an invasion. He gets lost in the night, is alone and afraid, and starts going over all his problems in his mind and feeling sorry for himself. Then he meets Aslan. I love how Aslan explains how He was there in each 'bad thing' that happened and was bringing good from all of it. 


"....What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter."


Wildfire "I do think,"  said Shasta, "that I must be the most unfortunate boy that ever lived in the whole world. Everything goes right for everyone except me. Those Narnian lords and ladies got safe away from Tashbaan; I was left behind. Aravis and Bree and Hwin are all as snug as anything with that old Hermit: of course I was the one who was sent on. King Lune and his people must have got safely into the castle and shut the gates long before Rabadash arrived, but I get left out." And being very tired and having nothing inside him, he felt so sorry for himself that the tears rolled down his cheeks.


What put a stop to all this was a sudden fright. Shasta discovered that someone or somebody was walking beside him. It was pitch dark and he could see nothing. And the Thing (or Person) was going so quietly that he could hardly hear any footfalls. What he could hear was breathing. His invisible companion seemed to breathe on a very large scale, and Shasta got the impression that it was a very large creature. And he had come to notice this breathing so gradually that he had really no idea how long it had been there. It was a horrible shock.


It darted into his mind that he had heard long ago that there were giants in these Northern countries. He bit his lip in terror. But now that he really had something to cry about, he stopped crying.


The Thing (unless it was a Person) went on beside him so very quietly that Shasta began to hope he had only imagined it. But just as he was becoming quite sure of it, there suddenly came a deep, rich sigh out of the darkness beside him. That couldn't be imagination! Anyway, he had felt the hot breath of that sigh on his chilly left hand. He went on at a walking pace and the unseen companion walked and breathed beside him. At last he could bear it no longer.


"Who are you?" he said, scarcely above a whisper.


"One who has waited long for you to speak," said the Thing. Its voice was not loud, but very large and deep.


"Are you - are you a giant?" asked Shasta.


"You might call me a giant,"  said the Large Voice. "But I am not like the creatures you call giants."


"I can't see you at all,"  said Shasta, after staring very hard. Then (for an even more terrible idea had come into his head) he said, almost in a scream, "You're not -not something dead, are you? Oh please - please do go away. What harm have I ever done you? Oh, I am the unluckiest person in the whole world!"


Once more he felt the warm breath of the Thing on his hand and face. "There,"  It said, "that is not the breath of a ghost. Tell me your sorrows."


Shasta was a little reassured by the breath: so he told how he had never known his real father or mother and had been brought up sternly by the fisherman. And then he told the story of his escape and how they were chased by lions and forced to swim for their lives; and of all their dangers in Tashbaan and about his night among the tombs and how the beasts howled at him out of the desert. And he told about the heat and thirst of their desert journey and how they were almost at their goal when another lion chased them and wounded Aravis. And also, how very long it was since he had had anything to eat.


"I do not call you unfortunate," said the Large Voice.


"Don't you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?" said Shasta.


"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."

Sharing with On My Heart Tuesday.

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1