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Sunday, March 31, 2013
When I was little, my mother would gather my siblings and me at bedtime to read a chapter from The The Chronicles of Narnia
by C.S. Lewis. I remember wondering what Turkish Delight tasted like; I worried that the wolves would catch Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, Peter, Susan, and Lucy; and I cried when the White Witch killed Aslan on the Stone Table. But perhaps I remember most of all how much I despised Edmund for allowing selfishness to turn him into a liar and a traitor.
Since the newest Narnia movies are some of my sister-in-law’s favorite movies, I catch snippets of them whenever we visit. Perhaps my favorite scene in the first movie is when Lucy and Susan wake up to discover that their brother Edmund had been rescued in the night. Even though I’ve seen the movie (and previous versions of it) multiple times, I now find myself strangely gripped by what they saw…
Even now, this scene draws me in. I want to know what Aslan was saying and how Edmund felt. I want to know what that first encounter between the Lion and the traitor was like.
Often times when I watch movies, I find myself identifying with one or more characters. I don’t know that I ever identified strongly with any of the characters in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe—maybe a little of Lucy and a little of Peter? This scene, however, made me realize for the first time that I am not Lucy, not Peter, not Susan—but Edmund.
I am the one who is selfish. I am the one who puts my wants before the needs of others. I am the one who cares more about now than eternity. I am the one who needs to be rescued. I am the one who cost Jesus His life.
Too often we read the Bible and go through life thinking we are really not that bad. I certainly grew up with that mentality—and the well-meaning adults who praised my good behavior reinforced that belief. I could always point my finger at someone who was a much worse sinner than I was. It has taken most of my life to begin realizing that that is not what the Gospel is about. No, I am Edmund. I am Judas Iscariot when he gave the kiss of betrayal. I am Peter when he denied Christ three times. I am Pilate when he surrendered to the will of the people. I am one of the soldiers who beat my Savior and nailed Him to the cross.
Now that I’m a mother, I’m realizing that the challenge of Christian parenting lies not in conforming my child to a set of behaviors but helping her understand that as long as we think there is any good in us, we will never truly grasp the wonder of the Gospel. Christ died for sinners—and that is why we owe Him everything.
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15)