Wednesday, May 18, 2016

On Being Wounded

I have been listening to the Chronicles of Narnia series on audio. I read it aloud to the kids when they were little...and decided it was time for someone to read it to me.

I've always known about the Christian symbolism in the book, but somehow it has hit me anew while listening to The Horse and His Boy. There is one part of the book where a lion attacks Aravis while she is riding on Hwin. She ends up with scratches from the lion's claws down her back. She is laid up with these wounds for some time afterwards. Later on in the book, Shasta discovers that it was Aslan who wounded Aravis. He asks Aslan why he would do such a thing. Aslan answers that he will only tell Shasta his own story, not Aravis's story.

I have a story. I have been wounded. As I look back at my life, I see indications that the Lord knew what was going to happen to me all along. He knows my story even better than I do. I couldn't prevent my deep wounds from happening even though it seemed as though I should have been able to. I wanted to set the record straight with those who misunderstood me, but the Lord would not allow me to. He closed the doors time and time again and sometimes didn't open the doors at all.

 I really believe that He wounded me. I have gotten into discussions about this very topic in the past with people who disagree. They would say, "Oh no. The Lord never wounds, but he only allows us to be wounded." I disagree because the scriptures mention that the Lord afflicts. (Psalm 119:75) Besides that, if He doesn't do it...then is He asleep on the job when it happens? Does He hire the devil to do his dirty work? Is He actually a cruel God who stands by and watches us get hurt without coming to our defense? No! Of course not.

God is good. He is just. He has purposes that we don't understand. It really was His plan that I be terribly misunderstood and consequently rejected by people I loved deeply. I don't know if I'll ever understand the reasons why on this side of eternity. I am coming closer than ever to being totally at peace about this. I know the truth is that it was supposed to happen.

Here is a quote that I love from the book. It occurs while Shasta is speaking to a mysterious traveling companion after getting lost in a fog. He concludes that he is the most unlucky boy. This is what Aslan says to him:

"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."

He has greater purposes for the "misfortunes" that we encounter during our lives. He is working in ways that we are not aware of. I'm getting closer. Yes...I am.

I only now ask for your prayers that the ruminating about it would stop. It sounds easy to others to simpy stop thinking about it...but it isn't easy. It is like my thoughts automatically gravitate towards this deep groove running through my mind. I would appreciate your prayers about this.


Ruthie said...

I recently reread The Horse and His Boy, which is my all-time favorite book, and I've had a blog post brewing in me about it since then. Just, there is too much to write, so I don't. This is my favorite part, this part you addresssed, as well as the part where they arrive a the hermit's home, and Shasta is sent on, and the lesson is that when you succeed at a great task, often you are then given another one.

I bawl most of the way through that book, from the cat that kept Shasta warm in the desert to the lion on the path up the mountain at the end. I used to read all the Narnia books aloud to my kids, and it got so I could hardly read for sobbing whenever Aslan walked onto a page.

This time I noticed at the beginning how Bre asked Shasta, "Can you fall?" and Shasta said he supposed anyone could fall, to which Bre sreplied, "Ah, but can you fall and get up and climb back up on my back again, over and over?" I'm sensitive to resilience issues right now, and that was just so beautiful.

This time I read the book, it was the first time I read it as an empty nester, so besides the book itself which is so beautiful and deep and funny and intricate and perfect, I also cried remembering my kids' delight and their thrilled giggles at whatshisname(?) Tarkaan Arsheesh(?) being kicked in the hindquarters by the prince, and Corin always knocking everyone down (or wanting to), and Rabadash transforming into a donkey.

Best book ever. So good. So true. So well written.

Ruthie said...

Also, yes. Trust Him. About the wounds. Thank Him for them. When they draw your mind, thank Him and pray for the salvation of someone who is difficult to pray for. Go on the offensive; use the pain as a cue. You may be surprised at what happens.

Priscilla said...

I love love love this book too. When I mentioned to Allen (my 21 year old son) that I was listening to The Horse and His Boy, he said that it is his favorite book of the Narnia series too.

I also cried while I listened. It is just so meaningful to me.

I agree with you that praying for someon is a way to fight the ruminations....sometimes it is so hard to do that....but you are right. Another way is to sing praises to the Lord.

Ruthie said...

Hi Priscilla,

I answered your comment on my blog, but thought I'd post here as well, just in case.

If you're looking for science fiction, I think Ender's Game is quite good, except I guess they made it into a movie.

I'm sorry to say that I have never made it through the Perelandra books. I have always fallen asleep a few chapters in, and then given up. This may be because I was trying to read them at a point in life when I was exhausted. I keep meaning to try again.

When you would like to discuss particular issues with me, you can always email me privately. My email address is listed under "contact" in the horizontal bar across the top of my home page. I check that email 1-2x per week.

Take care!


Rachel said...

I wish I read the Narnia books to my kids when they were little. I read them some others, but never those. I've never even read them, but after reading this post you have sparked my interest.

Life can be quite painful at times. I've been through some tough stuff too. These are the times when God reminds us how small we are and how big he is. I'll pray for you about the ruminating. I love you. <3

Martha said...

Sometime the mental exhaustion of it all feels like too much. I can trust that He is there, that He knows, and that He has a plan, but I must also trust that He is pushing my boat along when I am the child who lies near death. Sometimes I feel like that.