Thursday, April 3, 2008

Further Up and Further In

I just finished listening to Focus on the Family's radio theater dramatization of The Chronicles of Narnia.  I absolutely love the series of books and this was a new and fresh way to enjoy them.  Of the seven books, my favorites are The Horse and His Boy and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  But as I was listening to the end of The Last Battle today, I could hardly keep from crying.  All I could think about was the beauty that was heaven in this story book world, and how much more grand and glorious is will be.
One of the most moving things about Aslan's mountains in The Last Battle is the number of characters you run into that you fell in love with in the previous books.  Diggory and Polly get to meet Fledge and King Frank again.  Lucy is reunited with her good friend, Mr. Tumnus.  Peter and Edmund run into the Beavers.  Eustace and Jill reconnect with Puddleglum and Prince Rilian.  All the people who were special to us and to them--Reepicheep, Jewel, Puzzle, Caspian, Drinian, Ramandu's daughter, Trumpkin and Trufflehunter--are there.  To someone like Tirian, the last king of Narnia, many of these are merely heroes he's never met, names he's heard from the old tales.  But then he meets his own father.  How amazing will it be to get to heaven and enjoy the company of so many heroes who have gone before us.  And not only them, but also the loved ones who are waiting to see us again.
Another thing Lewis brings out is the realness of heaven compared to our own world.  In fact Aslan refers to our world as the "shadowlands."  Polly tries to explain it as if you were seeing a beautiful view in a mirror rather than seeing it with your own eyes.  The real view is much deeper, much more vivid, more alive.  Everything in the new Narnia is bigger and better than it was before.  It's the real country, while what we have here is but a shade of them.  How that ought to make us long for heaven and its realness!
But the most exciting thing about new Narnia is the absolute pleasure of being there.  None of the animals or people are sad.  Everything is a thrill.  Everything is fresh.  Everything is new.  Everytime you turn around there is a new delight to see and experience.  And the further up and further in you go, nearer to the heart of Aslan himself, the more exciting and pleasurable it gets.  And why is it so pleasurable?  Because that is the land that for which we are made!  Nothing here will satisfy us.  Nothing on this earth fulfills us.  But in heaven there is "fullness of joy" (ps. 16:11)  Joy that cannot be topped, cannot be added to.  In heaven there are "pleasures forever more" (ps. 16:11).  Pleasure beyond our wildest imaginations that will not stop!  How amazing is that!
All this pleasure, joy, awe and grandeur is caught up in one quote uttered by Aslan himself.  Something I hope to hear God say one day: "The term is over: the holidays have begun.  The dream is ended: this is the morning."  I can't wait for that day!

1 comment:

Margie Vawter said...

Beautiful. It's exactly how I feel whenever I think of heaven . . . The description C. S. Lewis has in The Last Battle is so awesome. In fact, your grandma Hunter said almost the same thing before she died: It's so much more than I could ever imagine. There are no words to describe it.