This weekend I released Of Lampposts and Lions—my 20 track, 80 minute concept album based on C.S. Lewis’ books, The Chronicles of Narnia. If you’re familiar with all 7 books, I think you’ll enjoy the story being told. If not, I hope you’ll enjoy the music anyways as it’s quite a blend of genres. You can download it for donation or for free on NoiseTrade.
There’s a beautiful scene in C.S. Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, in which a kid named Eustace Scrubb falls about as low as he can. Magic and greed have turned him into a dragon and he longs to become human again.
After some time of being a dragon, Aslan the lion appears to him and guides him to a well of sorts. Aslan then tells Eustace to undress before he gets in the water. Being a dragon, Eustace isn’t exactly sure how to undress, but then realizes he might be able to shed his skin like a snake. And so he removes his scales, only to find an entire extra layer of scales. Some more time passes as he removes this layer and he comes across a third layer of scales. He gives it one more shot, but you guessed it, there’s still another layer of scales.
Eustace recounts to his cousin what happened next:
“Then the lion said—but I don’t know if it spoke—’You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.
“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off….
“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off—just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt—and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me—I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on—and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again.
He admitted he was powerless—that his life had become unmanageable and then came to believe that a Power greater than himself could restore him to sanity, making a decision to turn his will and life over to the care of Aslan as he understood Him. Some would say he’s a good 3 steps into inner-healing. Eustace could have ripped away at his skin all night long, but in the end it was only Aslan who could take care of it.
After a lot of reading, I decided to take a nap, telling God that I’d be quite happy to receive a dream from him. During that 2 and a half hours I dreamt that I was doing a radio interview with C.S. Lewis. I asked him what his favorite part of Narnia was and he answered, “The baptism scene.” “In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader you mean?” I asked. He paused for a moment and then responded, “Yes.”
That comment was a little weird for me to hear. I was so hit by the inner-healing symbolism of Aslan peeling off Eustace’s dragon skin that I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that he was thrown into water. The term salvation came to my mind, and perhaps the symbolism of baptism did too to some extent, but it hit me harder in my dreams than it did as I read the story.
What is it in your life that you keep trying to get rid of simply by your own efforts? What aren’t you turning over to God? What in your life requires the help of another accountable Christian who can direct you towards God?