Sunday, March 10, 2019
Sunday Afternoon Tea - Living the magic of Narnia
The light is changing in my part of the world, even if the temperatures want to hold on to winter. The angle of the light tells me that the time of darkness is almost over. I enjoyed the darkness in season, with long candlelit nights and a warm throw. But now I long for the light and color and warm breezes and strawberries and asparagus of the new season.
There was a time when spring was celebrated by putting together picnics for my children. Stephanie and I would go to the beach at the Lake when we lived in Holland, Michigan. Since both of us have the coloring of Disney's Snow White, our complexion was not conducive to the summer sun. It didn't take long for either of us to turn the shade of lobsters after a good boil.
So our picnics tended to be in spring and after playing in the sand and watching the waves of Lake Michigan, we would walk to the park and enjoy a lunch at a picnic table. It can be cool by the lake even in mid-summer. You can imagine what early June felt like as we would nibble on cheese and fruit and good bread. A hot beverage was definitely appreciated, as well as a sweater.
I knew before I had children that I wanted to teach them there was a time when God walked with people in the cool of the day... and that the echoes exist today. I wanted them to know both the God of the Law and the God who created us to enjoy the Beauty of art and music and words and cinnamon rolls with coffee.
I wanted them to know that God expected holiness but that He knew they would fall and that He would pick them up and brush them off and give them a nudge to keep going. It is the Story that is in the Book. Yes, there are laws to keep but they are not a burden and the Book is full of great wonders such as the world could never match. If one is taught to hear the echoes of Eden.
When my son was young, we lived near forests where we would take a picnic lunch to the park and instead of playing on the sand of the beach, we walked on trails through the nearby forest and looked... really looked... at leaves and trees and bugs and rocks and if we were fortunate, a few native arrowheads here and there.
Sometimes his sister (in high school and later college) would join us for picnics at the park by the forest or on a summer's afternoon as we took our lunch to eat at another picnic table... this time near the zoo of the city park. Their father did not share my love of alfresco dining but he did join in once in awhile.
I'm pretty sure they grew up with the ability to hear the echoes, to look for Narnia when the world is cold and the battle has been long. They have different ways to hear the Ancient music but I think they do and that they are teaching it to their children. But what about their mother...?
I think it is a little harder to hear the echoes as we grow older but we never want to stop listening. If we are not careful, life's experiences can cause us to lay aside the magic and see only the fallen-ness of the world. But they are there if we keep our eyes on Him and not the culture and not on Facebook or Instagram or any other social media.
They are found in mornings having coffee and reading His Word. In long walks and picnics and animals and in really good books. They were... and are... hinted at in the perfect chocolate chip cookie and afternoon tea and good bread and buttered popcorn while watching a movie.
We see God's presence in the light of Autumn and the way the days are longer come spring. Each year. Every year. The calendar set in motion so long ago but with such precision that we can know the longest day of the year and the shortest and what moon will be full in what month... hundreds of years from now.
I've been thinking recently of where I have been, where I am now, and where I am going. I heard that the older one gets, when one is a Christ follower, that Heaven becomes more real. Perhaps as we realize we have less time before us than behind us, the soul who calls Him by name hears the beckoning of Home.
If we have spent a lifetime listening to the echoes of Eden as our True North, we then realize they began in another Place and another Time. The homing signals were never turned off for humans who made the decision to accept His offer of Redemption.
How do we hear the echoes? How do we know the singing of the morning stars? When the Holy Spirit lives with us. For He was there. Someday we will know perfection again and honestly, I can hardly wait. He just asks us to follow Him until that day He takes us Home. When the sounds will no longer be echoes and the sight will be in full multi-dimensional color. Maranatha!
Image: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie