So I’m writing twice today.
I can’t help myself. I was going to ignore this prompt — talk about evil, it said. I thought it would be really difficult to tackle that in a blog post… I mean, here’s the wording:
Write about evil: how you understand it (or don’t), what you think it means, or a way it’s manifested, either in the world at large or in your life.
I went to the theatre tonight. That sounds so sophisticated — the theatre. A friend of mine is playing The White Witch in a community theatre production of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe — adapted from C.S. Lewis’ book series The Chronicles of Narnia.
I’ve never read the books. I’ve seen The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe movie, but I was in a car on my way to New York City, and not paying a whole lot of attention. I’ve seen The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but I was sitting on my computer fiddling around, mostly because I didn’t really know what was going on, having not paid attention to the first movie years prior, and not having read the books.
I knew there was Christian symbolism in the characters and the storyline, mostly because I know who C.S. Lewis was. I didn’t know it was so clear….
So here, tonight, in my second blog post of the day, I am going to talk about The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, and the evil found wrapped around The White Witch.
I’m sure many of you know the story of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are visiting a house in the country, and they go exploring. Lucy finds a wardrobe that’s the biggest she’s ever seen, and she climbs in…. coming out in Narnia and meeting Mr. Tumnus. He’s supposed to kidnap her (or any human) and take her to the White Witch, but upon finding out Lucy’s probably one of the prophesied ones who will come to save Narnia (a land where it’s always winter but there’s never Christmas), he lets her go, getting him frozen in stone by the oh-so-pleasant white witch.
Newly freed Lucy runs back into the wardrobe, gets her siblings, and convinces them that they have to come see what’s going on. They arrive in Narnia, meet Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, and are informed of the prophesy that says they’re going to save Narnia and become its kings and queens. Somewhere in there, Edmund separated from them, encountered the White Witch, was tempted by Turkish Delight, and wound up promising her that he’d bring his brother and sisters back to the Witch.
The true telling of the depth of the evil residing in The White Witch surfaces when Edmund goes back to get the Witch (the Queen, he’s been told) to tell her that he’s brought his siblings but they wouldn’t come with him, and she freaks out, ties him up, screams at him, and won’t give him the Turkish Delight that got him to trust her in the first place.
This is where my brain goes “yeah, this is like real life, alright… good job, C.S. Lewis, good job.” So many times in our lives the Devil will give us something that appears to be good (Turkish Delight), convince us he’s something or someone other than what he truly is (a queen, not a witch), rope us in, then show his true colours.
Aslan, Peter, Susan, and Lucy wind up having to rescue and save Edmund from The White Witch. They get him away, but when the witch catches up to them, she reminds Aslan of The Deep Magic, which states that for the treason Edmund has created, he must be put to death. Aslan makes a deal with her that he’ll take Edmund’s place, and he’ll die instead.
If you know anything about Jesus, you know that this is the arrangement He had set up with His Father, God (who would be The Emperor in Narnia), is strikingly similar. Jesus didn’t bargain with God, but He agreed to die to pay for all of our sins. Forever. Those that had been committed and those that would be. Because He loves us, and wants us to be able to have a relationship with Him, one that we can’t have when we’re separated by unrepented sin that hasn’t been atoned for.
Aslan does this. He who has not committed treason can take the place of one who has and the debt will be paid. Aslan dies for Edmund so that the four can continue to sit on the thrones in the castle as prophesied. Aslan’s death fulfills prophecy.
The White Witch thinks she’s won, because with Aslan out of the way, her power is then matchless, and she can just kill the four ‘sons of Adam and daughters of Eve’ to get them out of her way. Well…. guess what White Witch…. Aslan comes back to life and you get defeated.
So here’s my view on how evil is manifested in the world. In summation: the devil lurks around us, in many different forms, tempting us with all kinds of things that get our attention, and distract us from Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit (who are all one). I think that the easiest thing the devil can do to us as Christians is to distract us from the greatest thing in our lives. The One that all of our devotion and attention should be given to has to watch while we get distracted by shiny things that the devil dangles in front of us. I’d be lying if I said something as trivial as Turkish Delight couldn’t distract me.
There’s One who came to save us, who sent His Son to die for us, who then rose from the dead fulfilling prophesy that said He’d come to save us. All we have to do is accept Him.
So there you have it — I watched the beautiful symbolism in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe tonight in real life. I marveled. And now I’ll have to read the books, I think.
What do you think? Have you read them? Seen the movies?