I have long been a fan of C.S. Lewis’, The Chronicles of Narnia. There are so many amazing life-parallels throughout the books, that no child – and perhaps relatively few adults – would ever recognize them all.
One vivid, pivotal scene occurs in the fourth book, The Silver Chair. Prince Rilian, heir to the throne of Narnia, had been held captive by the Green Witch for a decade. Jill Pole, Eustace Scrubb and the beloved Marsh-wiggle, Puddleglum, were on a mission to find him and restore him to his throne. When they finally located the Prince, they were able to free him from and destroy the enchanted silver chair to which he was bound each night. But then his captor returned, and wasn’t about to let them just walk out.
The Green Witch nonchalantly tossed some magical powder onto the fire in the hearth. It gave off a sweet enchanting aroma, and the Prince and the others immediately began to lose their bearings. The witch also picked up an enchanted mandolin-like instrument and began to gently and rhythmically strum it. As she monotonously thrum-thrum-thrummed on the instrument, she also spoke quietly and smoothly. “There’s no such place as Narnia.” She gently and persuasively countered every argument until the magic had nearly taken full effect. The four were on the verge of a trance-like state, completely convinced that Narnia and Aslan and their own homes were all just dreams.
But then something happened.
Puddleglum stepped to the hearth and stomped on the fire with his bare webbed foot. His action put out much of the fire, thereby destroying the enchanting effect of the powder that was smoldering on the coals. It also caused the room to smell of burnt Marsh-wiggle, which, as Lewis put it, “is not at all an enchanting smell.” The burned foot brought Puddleglum back to full consciousness. He spoke boldly and forcefully, confronting the witch without compromise. He told her that even if it was all a dream, that he’d take that dream over her world any day.
I think we need some bold Marsh-wiggle-like people today. Our society – and the Church – seems to be in some sort of trance-like state. We need those who are brave to speak up, not lambasting society, but boldly proclaiming the full truth of God’s Word.