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"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil,
to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

An Excerpt from C.S. Lewis' The Horse and His Boy (The Chronicles of Narnia)

In reference to my previous post (Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees) I wanted to share one of my favorite portions of the book 'The Horse and His Boy,' from C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. This story is about a boy named Shasta who is on a journey to an unknown destination. This touched my heart and soul WAY back before Nathan was even in my prayers or plans and I wanted to share it with you:

Chapter Eleven: The Unwelcome Fellow Traveler
"'What on earth am I to do?' said Shasta to himself. But he remounted his horse and continued along the road he had chosen, in the faint hope of finding some cottage where he might ask for shelter and a meal. He had thought, of course, of going back...but he couldn't because by now he had not the least idea of the direction. 'After all,' said Shasta,'this road is bound to get somewhere.' But that all depends on what you mean by somewhere. The road kept on getting to somewhere in the sense that it got to more and more trees, all dark and dripping, and to colder and colder air... strange, icy winds kept blowing the mist past him though they never blew it away...

'I do think,' said Shasta, 'that I must be the most unfortunate boy that ever lived in the whole world. Everything goes right for everyone except me... I was left behind... I was the one who was sent on... I got left out.' And being very tired and having nothing inside him, he felt so sorry for himself that the tears rolled down his cheeks. What put a stop to all this was a sudden fright. Shasta discovered that someone or somebody was walking beside him. It was pitch dark and he could hardly hear any footfalls. What he could hear was breathing. His invisible companion seemed to breathe on a very large scale, and Shasta got the impression that it was a very large creature. And he had come to notice this breathing so gradually that he had really no idea how long it had been there. It was a horrible shock.

It darted into his mind that he had heard long ago that there were giants in these Northern countries. He bit his lip in terror. But now that he really had something to cry about, he stopped crying. The Thing (unless it was a person) went on beside him so very quietly that Shasta began to hope he had only imagined it. But just as he was becoming quite sure of it, there suddenly came a deep, rich sigh out of the darkness beside him. That couldn't be imagination! Anyway, he felt the hot breath of that sigh on his chilly left hand... 

At last he could bear it no longer. 'Who are you?' he said, scarcely above a whisper. 
'One who has waited long for you to speak,' said the Thing. Its voice was not loud, but very large and deep. 
'Are you-- are you a giant?,' asked Shasta. 
'You might call me a giant,' said the Large Voice. 'But I am not like the creatures you call giants. 
'I can't see you at all,' said shasta after staring very hard. Then (for an even more terrible idea had come into his head), he said, almost in a scream, 'You're not-- not something dead, are you? Oh, please-- please do go away. What harm have I ever done you? Oh, I am the unluckiest person in the whole world.'

Once more he felt the warm breath of the Thing on his hand and face. 
'There,' it said, 'that is not the breath of a ghost. Tell me your sorrows.' 
Shasta was a little reassured by the breath: so he told how he had never known his real father or mother and had been brought up sternly by the fisherman. And then he told the story of his escape and how he was chased by lions and forced to swim for their lives; and of all their dangers... and he told about the heat and thirst of the desert journey and how they were almost at their goal when another lion chased them... and also how very long it was since he had anything to eat.

'I do not call you unfortunate,' said the Large Voice. 
'Don't you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?' said Shasta. 
'There was only one lion,' said the Voice. 
'What on earth do you mean? I've just told you there were at least two the first night, and--' 
'There was only one; but he was swift of foot.' 
'How do you know?' 
'I was the lion.' And as Shasta gaped with open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. 'I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you could reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you... Child... I tell no one any story but his own.' 

'Who are you?' asked Shasta. 
'Myself," said the voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook: and again, 'Myself,' loud and clear and gay: and then the third time 'Myself," whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all round you as if the leaves rustled with it. 
Shasta was no longer afraid that the Voice belonged to something that would eat him, nor that it was the voice of a ghost. But a new and different sort of trembling came over him. Yet he felt glad too.... A golden light fell on them from the left. He thought it was the sun. He turned and saw, pacing beside him, taller than the horse, a Lion... It was from the Lion that the light came. No one ever saw anything more terrible or beautiful... after one glance at the Lion's face he slipped out of the saddle and fell at its feet. He couldnt' say anything but then he didn't want to say anything, and he knew he needn't say anything.

The High King above all kings stooped towards him. Its mane, and some strange and solemn perfume that hung about the mane, was all round him. It touched his forehead with its tongue. He lifted his face and their eyes met. Then instantly the pale brightness of the mist and the fiery brightness of the Lion rolled themselves together into a swirling glory and gathered themselves up and disappeared."

I hope you, too, find that the Lord is walking with you, even when you feel like the most unfortunate person on this earth. Jesus is there with you... the Holy Spirit breathes His sweet breath upon you. Take the time to know Him and see that He is always there!

Be blessed!

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your post. I'm writing on autism today myself, and since my site usually offers Lewisian connections, a search led me here. Thanks.