Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
It is Lent again. And all I receive when I pray is image upon image of water. I don’t know if you are sinking or swimming today, if a tsunami of suffering has swept you away. I don’t know if you’re diving deep in search of more God, or don’t even want to dip your toes in this pool of faith.
But this I do know: we are transformed in the water. I am reminded of Eustace, boy-turned-dragon, meeting the great lion of Narnia, Aslan (God), in C.S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Aslan appears to Eustace to save him from his dragon flesh and to restore his little boy body. The transformation is a three-step process: Eustace scratches off three layers of his scaly dragon flesh, but realizes his efforts “had been no good.”
“Then the lion said . . . ‘You will have to let me undress you.'”
And so Eustace, despite the fear of the pain, lay down and let Aslan claw his dragon skin off:
Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off–just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times . . . And there I was smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me–I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on–and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone . . . ” pgs.474-475, The Chronicles of Narnia
I wonder about a Lent in which we didn’t try to abstain from caffeine or m&m’s, but rather remove a layer of ourselves? I wonder about a Lent that starts with a prayer of brokenness, a heart willing to lay down? I wonder about a Lent filled with enough desperation to allow the pain of God’s healing hands? To allow new skin? A fresh look, perhaps? Or a new look at life without scales over our eyes?
I wonder what layer, what skin, there is to lose as I venture into these waters. Where may He be leading, and what does He see that needs removing? I don’t know what God seeks specifically to remove from me this Lenten season; this challenge is as much a surprise to me as it is to you. But I will be praying for the will to let Him remove old dragon skin so that I may, too, plunge into delicious waters.
Forward, into the deep!
Make sure to check out “Alma heart Jesus” for more beautiful images of scripture.