Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jack & Jade

I was a teeny little girl when I was first introduced to Narnia. So young, in fact, I was frustrated by the language of the story and threw the book across my room and said "this is so stupid". I was attending a Church of Christ at the time with my family, relatively open to obedience, and faith, and books. I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe once, and never touched it again until my middle school days. I re-read it, which was like reading it for the first time, and I liked it. Only mildly, but I enjoyed it enough to keep the book. Then I made my way to my high school years, and read it again. Only this time, I read it long into the night, went straight to the pretty bookstore, and bought some other Narnian books. I began to absorb everything about this world that had become so dear to my heart.

Lucy was my favorite. She was brave. With a beautiful heart. And an even fiercer determination. She loved her siblings through their failures, and through their victories. But most of all, she loved Aslan with abandon and the tears she shed for him when he lay on that stone table mirrored my own. She loved him. And I loved him.

Then, Peter, Edmund, and Susan also captured my heart. The siblings who bickered, who were young and ridiculous, also grew to be regal Queens and Kings. They were imperfect. So many flaws. But they persevered.

Map of Narnia
And Aslan. With all of his goodness. All of his sacrifice. All of his wildness. Of course HE isn't tame. But HE is good. My beloved.

Then, I began to read beyond Narnia. Who was this man who had written these stories and wound his way into my heart? How I wished I could weave a tale like him. Who was he and why did he make me feel like I could fly? He encouraged my own bravery. My own love for people. And my own quest for queenship. For I knew in my heart that I was no simple human, but a princess in the making, and a future queen of a kingdom far away. Who was this man?

He was a simple fellow, from a simple family, who served in a war, and who had died when my parents were the age that my sweet firstborn is now. He was oddly named. Clive? Staples? Lewis? Three names that were unfamiliar to me. Though, of course he went by his childhood nickname of "Jack" and lived a strange life in a big old house with some obscure people.

I was in love. I read every book that I could get my hands on. My favorites still were among the Narnian tales. Once a King or Queen of Narnia, always a King or Queen of Narnia. We even named our second-born son, Lewis, after this man.

Happy Birthday Jack. You've made my life so colorful. I struggle, even now, for the words to express my deep gratitude.

xo, jade....

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