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Resilience in Adversity

There has always been waves of adversity. In these times our resiliency is tested. We are in a wave now in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and forest fire seasons, to name but two. It is timely to recommend an allegory with rich metaphors to watch or read for Easter/Passover weekend.

To be technical, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe of the The Chronicals of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis is not completely allegorical, because that would mean every detail in the story is a this-is-that situation. It is truly a fairy tale. A fairy tale often has principles that are experienced vicariously via the story. Mythological creatures cover its pages, and the readers pick up on a different aspects that will relate to them when they re-read it at a later date. In that way, the book’s meaning enlarges and becomes a part of the reader’s growth and understanding.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe demonstrates how we need to be a part of life around us to contribute to positive possibilities and probabilities in the world. The restriction of freedom of movement is jarring. But some never have had it. Their only chance for that kind of freedom is to hold it in the freedom of the mind. Our minds are worlds unto themselves. And Lewis gives us that richness of the minds of the siblings Peter, Edmond, Susan and Lucy Pevensie as they struggle walking along difficult terrain and other challenges. Children will likely find one character to identify with more than the others.

The most obvious examples for reading it this season is the talking Lion Aslan guiding the children, particularly the very receptive Lucy, through Aslan’s influence. Aslan allows himself to be sacrificed in Edmond’s stead. The issue revolved around ancient contract law. The details in the story are for you to discover.

The story has echoes of epic journeying. The original refugee story is the Jews escaping Egypt, which I referenced last week in postings. Aslan indeed gives a reference to ancient contract law. The book of Leviticus is full of ancient contract law stipulations.

By the end of the story, each child is more self-assured, armed with interior strength to muster the ability to do the necessary, and what that might mean. It is a life of helping others with sober awareness about the inevitableness of death. It is a great companion piece for days such as these.

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