“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?”
“I shall be telling you all the time,” said Aslan. “But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder.”¹
I may have a compulsion about plants. I’m no skilled gardener, but I suppose I have this affinity for growing things. I want to gaze on them, be surrounded by them, and see them transform. Thus is it always to my dismay when one of my own succumbs to rot or perishes for some other reason. I try what I can to replant, trim back, and wait for recovery.
And I have done this several times. It’s a slow thing. Weeds have no trouble growing quickly once cut back or plucked, yet the things you want to thrive seem to struggle.
But this summer, I have seen a turn. I have come across so many of my rooted friends growing again, after I’d given up hope and come to accept the losses. I have seen small eucatastrophes, if you will.²
If I sit open, I could find a greater hope than this.
What hope is there in life, with affliction and certain death and suspicion and fear? I’m coming to think Christ is telling us all the time, but we have our eyes and ears inward, looking to our own answers, so wise are we.
You are leading me I know not where. I know not how. But I do know a few things. God is real. God is gracious. God saves me. But how can I make that to my heart the wonder it really is? I am hard and cold. Like old East Berlin in winter behind that wall. Help me out of here, out of myself. Why do I cling when I’m so miserable to cling to? I’m no kind of home to myself. Would that I could rest my soul in something sweeter, brighter, stronger. Would that You would become all to me, and that I would yield and trust and fall to worship.
So there is a great chasm to cross, but we can’t reach that far. We can’t stretch out and touch the hope that is there. No, friend, it would seem in all this world and life, hope lies hopelessly far beyond our fingertips.
And yet, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”³
Here He comes, the great Bridge Builder, crafting a way to Himself with Himself, stretched out and laid down so we might pass over into peace. If ever there was any hope to be with God, it was by His design and His death and His glory and love. And it is a turn of events unforeseen, least expected, least looked-for. A eucatastrophe of the greatest degree.
And so there is hope for me.
That sweet surprise of new life. That beauty. Some days are hard, dark at midday, yet even these have beauty in them. And beauty calls to us, “God is here, with us. Wait.” Like these tiny new tips inching from the soil, soft and bright and green. Their small, smiling progress speaks to the nature of things – that growth is bitsy and tender, and breathtaking. Mine can be too.
Let it be.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! [Psalm 27:13]
¹ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis
² Term coined by Tolkien: a sudden and favorable resolution of events
³ Psalm 27:14