I’m sure a lot of people can say this, but I’m going to also…Narnia changed my life.
First the books and all their charming mystery in C. S. Lewis’ enigmatic style, and then the breathtaking cinematic version that came out around my 15th birthday. Now I’m twenty-five and I am still spellbound by Narnia. My heart still freezes when Lucy approaches the wardrobe, races when she and Susan leap onto Aslan’s back, and jumps into my throat when Aslan lets out a roar that shatters the witch’s evil. The joy that rushes through my veins when the great lion steps out of the tent to greet the children is more than just pleasure from a cinematic experience. Aslan is meant to represent Someone Else. The Divine Lion of Judah, who has won His Victory and shares it with His Children. The King who has called us out of the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous Light. The One who captivated C. S. Lewis’ heart, and later, mine.
Of the four Pevensie children, Lucy was always my favorite. Unhampered by Peter and Susan’s pride or Edmund’s selfishness, the youngest sister is all innocence and wonder, leading the way through the wardrobe and taking Narnia for what it is.
When Aslan crowns her Queen Lucy the Valiant at the end of the first film, I always felt a rush of pleasure mixed with longing. How I wanted my Lord to describe me as His valiant one. What would I have to do in order to be known that way?
As a young teenager immersed in the excitement of the saga, it was easy to think that there was a lot of action involved in being valiant. But looking back now, I see a much different picture. Of all the siblings, Lucy does the least amount of fighting, planning, and directing. She’s the smallest, the youngest, and is given a flask of healing oil and a tiny dagger as gifts, while her sister and brothers are given bigger weapons. She is the diplomat, interacting the most with the creatures of Narnia, quicker to make friends than enemies.
Most importantly, she always reminds the others of Aslan.
From the moment she first saw Him, Lucy was captivated by the Great Lion King and she carries in her heart an equal mixture of reverence and adoration for Him that makes their relationship a beautiful thing to behold. That’s always been my favorite thing about Lucy. But it’s also what makes her valiant.
She runs to Aslan.
My favorite scene in the movie Prince Caspian is in the heat of the final battle. Hope is waning fast for Narnia’s weary troops. Everyone races to the river, where they encounter Lucy calmly walking out onto the bridge, into the hordes of advancing soldiers. The armies crash to a stop in confused wonder as the small girl stands there, smiles at the lion beside her, and simply pulls out her tiny dagger. When the enemy soldiers launch themselves at her, Lucy steps back to make way for Aslan’s earth-shattering roar. It’s what the armies of Narnia have been waiting for…not all that patiently.
Lucy is able to stand strong and calm in the midst of danger because she recognizes that the One standing beside her has all the resources she lacks. While the others worry and argue and scheme, she calls to their minds who really defeated their enemies in the past. While the others sleep, she gets up to follow Aslan into the woods. She isn’t focused on displaying her own physical prowess or battle skills. She just knows who can win the battle, so that’s who she runs to. Her battle plan is to step back and let Aslan do what He does best.
During their talk in the forest, Lucy comments to Aslan that she wishes she were braver. Aslan simply smiles wide and declares that if she were any braver, she would be a lioness.
Valiance, courage, bravery–it all comes from spending time with the King. When we know Who He is and who we are in Him, we are able to step out into whatever battles we’re facing and boast in our tiny daggers and weak stature because we know our God has a chance to display His Might in us.
His Presence is what makes me what I can’t make myself…valiant.