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The Day a Lion Opened My Little Girl's Eyes

Monday, September 12, 2005 at 7:19 PM EDT

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Today the main floor of the house is suffering from housekeeper’s neglect. The carpet is strewn with Polly Pockets and cracker crumbs. Last night's pots and pans clamor for scour power.

The messy rooms beckon, but I choose to stick to the afternoon reading routine. Anna, Sarah and I sink into the couch along with Friday night’s popcorn kernels. I thumb through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to find the chapter in which Aslan is killed. That is where we left off last.

Understanding dawns in my girls’ eyes as I read about Aslan and the White Witch striking up a bargain to let punishment-deserving Edmund go free. I sense their sorrow as Susan and Lucy follow their beloved lion friend through the midnight forest to the Stone Table. There his devilish enemies bind and shear him, mocking and jeering at how lamb-like the once fierce King of Beasts has become.

My voice wavers as I read that Aslan could have easily bitten off a wolf’s head while they muzzled him. How one great roar might have sent his torturers running. And about the damage that may have been done with one blow from his giant paw.

But he didn’t rescue Himself.

I ask the girls why Aslan would allow such a thing. They understand he is giving himself over to the death that Edmund was due, according to the Law of the Deep Magic. Blood must be shed for the traitor to go free.

I close the book momentarily and look into the faces of my young daughters. “Girls, we are Edmund.”

Six-year-old Anna gasps, looks at me wide-eyed, and whispers with sudden revelation, “Jesus must love me!”

She rests her head on my shoulder, reflecting. I notice the sunbeams streaming through the window and think about gardening chores lost to yet another afternoon spent indoors. My mind drifts back to the dirty bedrooms I could be transforming. The flashy achievements I won’t soon realize.

I turn again to see my girls’ watery, sober eyes as they consider Aslan…Jesus.

How He loves them.

Quiet, you dusty shelves. Hush, you lofty ambitions. I am content in this moment. And most fulfilled.

(This post later became an excerpt from my book, Who Are All These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Mom? )


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