Tuesday, October 21, 2014

C. S. Lewis: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Another question I am often asked is which is my favorite book of The Chronicles of Narnia. It is extremely difficult for me to pick a favorite. I have favorite scenes and passages in all of them. And you just can't beat the end of The Last Battle... but I usually end up saying The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my all around favorite for a few reasons:
1. It has one of my favorite first lines of a book:
“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

2. The un-dragoning of Eustace (I will write about this in another post.)

3. Chapter 12: The Dark Island

I know, I know, why is a chapter called "The Dark Island" one of your favorite things about this book? Well let me tell you. Here we find Lucy, Edmond, Eustace, and Caspian sailing towards what they believe is an island, but turns out to be only darkness. Lewis tells the reader to imagine a railroad tunnel so long, or so twisty, that you cannot see the light at the end.

"The same idea was occurring to everyone on board. “We shall never get out, never get out,” moaned the rowers. “He’s steering us wrong. We’re going round and round in circles. We shall never get out.”

I'm sure we have all experienced some darkness in our lives. For me, the darkness of depression can feel very much like going round and round in circles with no hope of getting out.

And here when all on the ship are slipping into despair, when all hope seems lost and all they feel is fear, Lucy calls out to Aslan:

"Lucy leant her head on the edge of the fighting-top and whispered, 'Aslan, Aslan, if ever you loved us at all, send us help now.' The darkness did not grow any less, but she began to feel a little - a very, very little - better...There was a tiny speck of light ahead, and while they watched a broad beam of light fell from it upon the ship...It did not alter the surrounding darkness, but the whole ship was lit up as if by searchlight.

Lucy looked along the beam and presently saw something in it. At first it looked like a cross, then it looked like an aeroplane, then it looked like a kite, and at last with a whirring of wings it was right overhead and was an albatross...It called out in a strong sweet voice what seemed to be words though no one understood them...no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, 'Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face." - C. S. Lewis, Voyage of the Dawn Treader
I love this so much. Because I need to hear those words, "courage, dear heart..."

Like Lucy, sometimes all I can do is cry out to Jesus, "if you ever loved me at all, send help now..."

The darkness may not fade away, but I do feel a little - a very, very little - better... for I know that in the end, the darkness will not overcome the Light. And I know the Light is with me, even when I can't see Him for the darkness.

And sometimes, in precious moments, I can hear him say, "Courage, dear heart."

In response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be posting every day in October. You can read previous posts HERE. Follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter to be notified of new posts. You can also Subscribe to get posts sent to you by email. (There is a simple form towards the top on the right where you can do this.)

Feel free to comment with your own thoughts and questions!

Index of Posts (Highlights):
Day 2. C. S. Lewis on Longing (In "The Weight of Glory")
Day 3. C. S. Lewis on Sehnsucht (Longing and Desire in The Weight of Glory)
Day 6: C. S. Lewis: The Intolerable Compliment (The Problem of Pain)
Day 7: C. S. Lewis: What is "The Weight of Glory"?
Day 8: C. S. Lewis: The Great Divorce and The Weight of Glory
Day 9: C. S. Lewis: A Grief Observed
Day 12: C. S. Lewis and Postmodernism (Part 3 - Conclusion)
Day 13: C. S. Lewis: The Grand Miracle (Myth and Allusions)
Day 14: C. S. Lewis: Is Theology Poetry? (Part 1: More on Myth)
Day 15: C. S. Lewis: Is Theology Poetry? (Part 2: Metaphors, Symbols, and Science)
Day 16: C. S. Lewis and The Trilemma Argument in Mere Christianity
Day 19: C.S. Lewis: Brief Biography: Did you know? (Part 2)
Day 20: C. S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia Correct Reading Order

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