By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“It would be nice and fairly true to say that ‘from that time forth he was a different boy.’ To be strictly accurate, he began to be a different boy. He had relapses. There were still many days when he could be very tiresome. But most of those I shall not notice. The cure had begun.” – C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
I love The Chronicles of Narnia. If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend that you put them on your bedside table and read a few chapters before you go to bed. (There is also a free podcast in which an English woman with a lovely voice reads all of them. This might be the better choice for those of you who don’t care to read the but don’t mind listening to them on your way to work).
One of my favorite parts is in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. There is a young boy named Eustice who is mean, crabby, and altogether unpleasant to be around. Because of a series of unfortunate events, Eustace is turned into a dragon. What’s more interesting to me in this story is not how Eustice became a dragon but rather how he is made to be a boy again.
Eustace was lying his dragon-self down one night when he saw a huge lion. The lion led Eustace up a mountain and to a great, bubbling well. The lion explained that Eustace must bathe in the well but first he had to undress. Because he wasn’t wearing any clothes, Eustace was confused.
Understanding came when Eustace realized the lion was referring to the undressing of his dragon skin. Eustace began to scratch at his skin and scales began to fall to the ground. With a little more work, whole pieces of dragon flesh fell off of him. It felt great.
Eustace went to well to bathe and he saw his reflection. He was still wearing his dragon skin. He tried scratching it off again, seeing more skin fall to the ground. But once again he saw his reflection and noticed he was still a dragon.
“You’ll have to let me undress you,” said the lion.
Eustace let the lion get to work on his dragon flesh. The lion tore a great piece from his body and it felt as if he was tearing out Eustace’s heart. The lion continues to tear and Eustace had never felt so much pain. But along with the pain, there was the pleasure of his dragon skin peeling off. Like the pain of removing a scab and the pleasure of seeing it coming away.
Soon, a great pile of dragon skin lay beside Eustace, and the lion gathered him up and threw him into the well. The water relieved his tender body and he saw that he had left his dragon skin behind. With the lion’s help, he was a boy again.
God wants to remove our transgressions and our sin. He wants to remove that which is not of Him and replace it with His Spirit.
It might not be easy or quick. Sometimes it hurts as He tears it from us. Sometimes He uses trials or painful situations to build our resolve and remove our sinful nature. It might take time. We might relapse.
But God will cure us one tear of our dragon skin at a time.
Parents: Read the Chronicles of Narnia to your children before bed every night. You won’t regret it.