Following a Child

I wanted to be someone else.

I watched a little girl walk through a wardrobe, into a dark world with faint illumination beckoning her forward. Cold snow crunched underfoot, crisp night air bit at her cheeks, and silence engulfed all sound save her tiny breaths making heat clouds against the winter night. No one held her hand, told her it would be alright, or told her how to escape if she went too far. Still, she wandered further. Finally she reached the light, a small marker that she made the right decision. Then, at a stranger’s request, she walked deeper into the forest, tentatively trusting this odd person.

She took my breath away —still does. Lucy Pevensie. She had the strength to walk into a dark wood at night, and I did not. I could never leave my family behind, especially without a word of warning. I needed support. Her belief confounded her siblings, her best friends and only allies, landing Lucy in a heap of insults. She trusted in the goodness of a kidnapper; I feared them. She fought for hope in a captive land; I avoided frightening situations.

Years after her siblings joined her crusade into the land of Narnia, Lucy still faced the choice between her personal belief and the words of those she loved and admired. She saw Aslan and wanted others to notice him, to.  Eventually, she leaves her siblings to follow what she hopes is her king, this time they follow.

How a little girl accomplished such massive feats, I did not understand. As a child, I would wake a family member for comfort after a nightmare. As a teen, I second guessed myself, using friends and family as sounding boards. I would never be like the beloved Lucy Pevensie, not as long as I waited for kinship before making a decision, and approval before walking into the night with only a distant lamppost as my guide.

Only now do I see my fatal flaw; Lucy’s character cannot be acquired by copying. Walking into the unknown, alone, willing, full of wonder and belief in the good of a land and people is what set her apart all along. In Prince Caspian, Lucy sees Aslan before anyone else, so she can trust only herself and her king that she has not fallen off the crazy truck. Lucy is a pioneer. A brilliant example. But I cannot duplicate someone’s first steps into unexplored land, they would be following footprints, not leading marks.

Here’s to Lucy Pevensie for showing me Narnia with her brave actions. I want to find my own land, now, with only a dim light to follow.

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