Sunday, February 4, 2018

Courage, Dear Heart

Have you read "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" by C.S. Lewis? In it, Lucy, her brother, and Prince Caspian are voyaging across the seven seas, when they come to an island enveloped in a cloud. As they enter the cloud, the light disappears, and they discover it holds an enchantment that turns their nightmares into a reality. They go round and round in the darkness, trying to escape the enchantment, but they cannot find a way out. They are stuck in the nightmare.

As Lucy feels the darkness devour her hope, an albatross swoops into the cloudy nightmare and whispers in her ear: "Courage, Dear Heart." She recognizes his breath as the breath of her beloved Aslan, the Great Lion, who can assume different forms and is the Christ figure in this series.

I have a bracelet with "Courage, Dear Heart" printed on it. I wear it everyday. It's my "jewelry tattoo." I had it made when I felt like I would never escape the nightmare of chronic illness. I wanted to remember that Jesus wants to enter the nightmare with us, to breathe his divine life into us, to give us courage. I wanted to remember that sickness is not the worst thing that could happen to me. A life detached from Jesus' love is. And in some crazy way, God would use the nightmare to teach me His love.

And he has. Somehow, he turned the nightmare into a gift. It is a gift that has, miraculously, eclipsed even the gift of healing. It's a gift I want to give and give and give away.

Hopeful, light-filled Sunday, my courageous friends.


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© by scj

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