We went to see "Prince Caspian" last Friday night. I definitely think this one was better than the first. In case you don't remember, in this book, Prince Caspian blows Susan's horn, and it calls the children back from England to Narnia. But when they get back, everything has changed. Cair Paravel lies in ruins, and they are barely a legend to the oppressed, modern day Narnians.
Things aren't looking bright and pleasant like they did in the golden age before they left. The Narnians are gearing up for war against the cruel Telmarines, they're concerned that the children they see before them aren't up to the task of leading them in battle, and worst of all, Aslan is nowhere to be found. Things are going from bad to worse. The children are muddling around, desperately seeking direction, and pretending they've got it together to keep their people from falling apart.
The Narnians have hunkered down in a cave, and the children join them there. They don't recognize it, though it seems vaguely familiar. Prince Caspian asks them, "Don't you know this place?" He takes them further back in the darkness, and lights up the room with a torch. Suddenly the walls are illuminated, and they show beautiful carvings of them as kings and queens, with a beautiful picture of Aslan framing it all. Behind them is the Stone Table, broken in half. They are in Aslan's How.
Lucy lovingly touches the Table, remembering. All stop and gaze at Aslan's face. I gaze at it, and I am filled with sadness and longing. I miss Aslan. I want to know where he is, too. I miss his comfort, I miss his guidance, and I miss his friendship. Everything was better when he was around. I want him to show up and tell them and me exactly what to do. I want him to make everything clear and better and simple again. I just miss him, and I miss him so bad it hurts for a minute or two.
I have read these books over and over again, since I was a child. I grew up with them, and I grew up knowing that Aslan was intended to represent Christ. Seeing him speak to the children on the big screen and give them personal guidance made me see him a different way, though. He seemed more real and personal after that than he did in the books.
And knowing this, I can trace my sadness and longing. I long for the day when I can speak with Christ face to face. I know He won't always tell me what I long to hear, and I know that I won't always understand. But I miss seeing Him and touching Him. It is lonely to be without Him on this earth, muddling around, hoping that I am hearing him right and walking in the right way. I have His word, but sometimes, I just wish He could sit down next to me, hold my hand, and explain it to me. I want Him to give me a hug that I can feel with my flesh and not just with my heart.
I miss Him. Maybe I am just now getting a glimpse of why some older people seem so ready to leave and go be with Jesus. Maybe they are feeling this, too, and their longing overtakes any doubts about what lies beyond.
Christ Jesus, please come and make yourself more real to me every day. Thank you for giving me a longing to see your face.