Shasta’s Story

Shasta’s Story

“One who has waited long for you to speak.”

C.S.Lewis’s’ Narnia story, ‘The Horse and his boy’, tells of the boy Shasta’s troubled life. In one scary moment he hears the sound of something following him. Unable to bear it any longer he asks “Who are you?”

“One who has waited long for you to speak,”  Came the reply.
“Tell me your sorrows” asked the Voice.

Then Shasta, very sorry for himself, pours out his sad story. When he has finished his tale of woe:

..The Voice continued. “I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you as you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”…………..

But after one glance at the Lion’s face Shasta slipped out of the saddle and fell at its feet. He couldn’t say anything, but then he didn’t want to say anything and he knew he needn’t say anything…..”.

Then the Lion disappeared out of sight and Shasta was left: ‘alone with his horse on a grassy hillside under a blue sky. And there were birds singing.’

Yes, when Christ’s presence becomes real to us it’s as if the sun is shining and the birds are singing and we feel we need to ‘fall at his feet’ in worship.

Sheep in the Shropshire hills

Christ Unawares

But perhaps like C.S.Lewis’s story of Shasta and Aslan, unknown to us, Christ has been near us all the time. Could it be a case of ‘angels unawares’ – of Christ visiting us unrecognized? Shasta discovered the presence of Aslan suddenly and most unexpectedly. St Paul, also, discovered Christ dramatically on the Damascus road. For us it may be a much quieter and more gradual process, as it was for me.

“Lucy woke out of the deepest sleep you can imagine, with the feeling that the voice she liked best in the world had been calling her name.” 

C.S.Lewis – ‘Prince Caspian: The return to Narnia’

I want to hear more clearly Christ’s voice calling my name.

I recommend ‘The Lion’s World’ by former Archbishop Rowan Williams

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