The Final Awakening-

23a08a6c-6245-4a5e-b42c-5fb20aaf897fAround the time that Rich’s dad was suffering greatly from cancer, Rich and I took our kids to see “Narnia- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” at the movies. In the movie there was a brave little mouse Reepicheep. He was a scrapper who fought for Aslan’s honor. The whole movie and the book that inspired it is an allegory of great spiritual significance. My kids may not have gotten it but my husband and I did. With all the events of our life at that time being what they were we both broke into tears as the little mouse stuck his sword in the sand and said, “I won’t be needing this any more” He then began to make the voyage to Aslan’s land, a symbol of heaven. Our kids were amused to see mom and dad crying at a kids movie about a quote from a mouse and continually teased us after we left the movie. I turned to them and said, “It was so true, he didn’t need his sword. His fighting was over. He was going to be with Aslan.” Once again tears welled up in my eyes and once again the kids giggled.

It’s been almost 8 years since we saw that movie and it is still the topic of a good hearted laugh about how mom and dad cried at “Narnia”.

I sit here today contemplating that scene again. I don’t know why we have to look at death with sorrow and finality. Actually I guess I do, but I think our limited view skews the reality.

My husband stumbled upon a song by Molly Skaggs on Ricky Skaggs’s album Mosaic. Called “I’m Awake Now”. Upon first listening to it I determined I never wanted to hear that song again. It’s all about that final step from here to eternity and how instantly we are awakened. It’s hard to imagine a life anywhere besides here. But the Bible gives us glimpses of what it will be like.

I had told my husband I didn’t like the song because it was about dying. He replied, “It’s about life.” Sometimes we hold onto the lives we have like they are Gollum’s “Precious”. It’s only because we haven’t seen any better with our physical eyes. Death is a passing, not an end. We would do well to remember that.

The things we have fought, or watched the ones we love fight, are no longer a struggle when we at our appointed time “Awake” to our new life. Not only are sicknesses and diseases swallowed up in Jesus’s victory over death, but fears and torments are no more when we stand face to face in the presence of the one who paid it all so we can live, Jesus. His perfect love finally casts out every fear as we see Him face to face. We too will finally get to lay down our swords because we won’t need them anymore.

The words to that song have been echoing in my head today.

“I’m Awake Now, No Mistake Now,

I’m Awake.
It’s OK Now, I’m Safe Now,
I’m Awake, I’m Awake, I’m Awake Now.

Ooooh, Ohhhh….

I Wondered If I Would Get Through It
And Come Out On The Other Side.
What You’ve Heard- There’s Something To It,
And Now My Eyes Are Open Wide.

I’m Awake Now, No Mistake Now,
I’m Awake.”

I’ve stood at the bedside of someone I loved as I watched their last breath, and honestly the thought of standing beside others I love as they close their eyes has been a dreaded event for me.

But “the sting of death” is gone when I realize they’re not sleeping. They’re awake to worlds and realities that my mortal eyes can’t see, and it will seem like a moment to them that we are separated. Just like an earthly nap seems like a minute, and my “Awakening” will come when I have done what I was placed here to do.

“I’m awake now, make no mistake now. I’m awake.”

“Always Winter and Never Christmas”

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is one of my favorite books of all time. It is an allegory representing Satan as the Witch and Jesus as the Lion. In the book, a Witch has cast a spell (that the Lion eventually breaks)  leaving the land of Narnia in constant winter. Layer after layer of snow and ice have plagued the land for such a long time that few remember what it was like to see green grass and flowers. “It’s always winter and never Christmas.” Is a quote from the book and a song by Reliant K on their Christmas album called “In Like A Lion”. It has been rolling around in my head this morning. It’s hard to imagine a world that never changes seasons, staying cold and frozen. Growing up in my neck of the woods, it is even harder to imagine a cold winter with no Christmas. That’s all I’ve ever known. Summer ends, Fall comes in with changes of color and temperatures, winter is introduced with cold, short days. Christmas is celebrated and then it’s just a matter of a few short months and the thaw begins. Buds appear on the trees. Green returns in the grass, and wearing my Birkenstock sandals outside with no fear of cold toes becomes the normal chosen footwear for me, FREEDOM!! It’s funny what a little more time with your part of the world tilted toward the sun does for you.

That is how life is. Circumstances tend to bury us beneath icy and cold layer after layer of hurt, unforgiveness, hatred, bad choices, and more. We can find ourselves feeling like thawing out and seeing the beautiful in our lives will never come. “It’s always winter and never Christmas” may be the reality of our world, or so we think. Isaiah 9:2 talks about our world just as Christmas dawned on it. ” The people walking in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Jesus came on the scene 2000 years ago and gave us Christmas. The start of the great thaw and change of seasons in our hearts. Things that were layered with the solid ice of sin and heartache melt in His love. The hopelessness of darkness and fear is driven out by the warmth of His light.

That light began to shine and continued to go on and on touching all who have been willing to let it shine in their lives for centuries to come until now.

So this morning as I sit by my Christmas tree wrapped in a fuzzy throw blanket sipping on a hot cup of coffee. I’ve been reflecting on some ice cold areas in my own heart that still need a little light of the Son to shine on it. Things that I thought would always remain buried under the ice and snow of many years of disappointment are showing the tell tale sign of dripping melt from icicles on my heart. I no longer have to face the prospect of “always winter and never Christmas” because His light has shone on me resurrecting the hopes of a green spring with colorful flowers in situations that seemed to never change. The more I reflect on it all I do believe that it really is amazing what a little more time with your world tilted toward the Son will do for you. FREEDOM!!!