Nov 29 2012

The Deeper Magic

Hungry and tired, she waited for the campus bus, the visible world reduced to the lamp light’s reach. The chill made her burrow deeper into her jacket, the library’s warmth only a memory in the foggy twilight.

Decisions yet to be made pressed in upon her. She worried at all the questions as she worried at her frayed sleeve, plucking threads and watching the fabric unravel. A familiar sting pricked her eyes.

Clenching her teeth, she shoved her hands back into her pockets, roughly setting her thoughts against the ache and her eyes to look for distant headlights.

And there, on the sidewalk, she saw them, just at the edge between sight and obscurity:

Paw prints.

Large paw prints, like some gigantic creature only meant for the wilds had stepped through paint and then sprinted into the darkening fog.

She half-turned away. It was cold. Late. I’ll take a closer look tomorrow, she decided.

Pinpricks of bus lights cut through the fog. Supper and bed beckoned. Warmth and sleep wooed.

Yet her eyes kept finding their way back to the prints. Even in the fog, she could just make out more marking a path into the distance. A little spark of adventure flickered to life in her heart. A little less weariness weighed down her limbs.

She hardly noticed stepping out from the certainty of the stop.

She followed, up and around, down and back, street lamps lighting her way, one moment certain she had lost the trail only to find it again further up and further in, until the paw prints finally stopped.

And she stopped; breathing deep from the chase, hope of a deeper magic rising in her heart.

At the end of the trail, scrawled joyfully on the pavement, were two shimmering words from her childhood, catching her up in the Story, breaking past all her doubts, filling the ache, until her heart spilled over in laughter and tears and laughter again:

 

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ASLAN LIVES!!

 

(And edited repost from the archives, in honor of C.S. Lewis’ birth this day in 1898, and based on Deborah Smith Douglas’ mention of finding paw prints on Duke University’s campus and following them to the joyful words.  She writes: “I simply, with all my heart, recognized the transforming truth of the affirmation. Aslan is alive. Resurrection happens. Christ is risen.  In a single leap, Aslan had bounded past the watchful dragons of my mind and all the intervening years to return…Because my whole childhood rose up to greet the Lion, my tenuously sophisticated young-adult self had no defenses against the saving “allelujah!” truth of that moment.” –Weavings, Jan/Feb 1997, 21)


Nov 23 2012

Friday Florilegium

There is a river, a sweet, still, flowing river, the streams whereof will make glad thy heart. And, learn but in quietness and stillness to retire to the Lord, and wait upon Him; in whom thou shall feel peace and joy, in the midst of thy trouble from the cruel and vexatious spirit of this world.

So, wait to know thy work and service to the Lord every day, in thy place and station; and the Lord make thee faithful therein, and thou wilt lack neither help, support, nor comfort.  — Isaac Penington (1616–1679), Quaker hymnist

“I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me”
(Ps. 57:2).

The beautiful old translation says, “He shall perform the cause which I have in hand.”

Does not that make it very real to us today? Just the very thing that “I have in hand”–my own particular bit of work today, this cause that I cannot manage, this thing that I undertook in miscalculation of my own powers–this is what I may ask Him to do “for me,” and rest assured that He will perform it. “The wise and their works are in the hands of God.”   — Frances Ridley Havergal (1836–1879), Christian poet and hymnist

 

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