The Beaver’s Whisper

spring - Aslan quote

“They say Aslan is on the move—perhaps he has already landed,” [said Beaver].

And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different…. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summerC.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

In the beloved children’s book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, children from our world happen upon another world: The world of Narnia. And Narnians are tired. The land has been under the spell of an evil witch, where it is always winter and never Christmas. A place where there is fear and sadness, and little hope that anything will ever change. A world where what you say can be held against you, where betrayal is rampant, where faithful friends and family seem few.

If you’re like me, you probably have days like Narnia under the spell of the White Witch. Days when you are tired and where it seems like nothing will ever change. Days where you feel like faithful friends and family are far away or non-existent. It’s on these days when I take comfort from the words of a fictional character in a fictional land; specifically a talking beaver.

Because today I need to know that “Aslan is on the Move!”  

“Have confidence in the compassion of our Creator. Reflect well on what you are now doing, and keep before you the things you have done. Lift up your eyes to the overflowing compassion of heaven, and while He waits for you, draw near in tears to our merciful Judge. Having before your mind that He is a Just Judge, do not take your sins lightly; and having also in mind that He is compassionate, do not despair. The God-Man gives man confidence before God.” from St. Gregory the Great

Photo Credit: Word Art by Marilyn R. Gardner

First Friday of Advent: Everything Changes When a Baby is Born

Many of you will know that Advent is marked off the calendar in Sundays. It’s the four-week season of expectation as Christians around the world wait for the Christ child to be born. Wikipedia describes it as, a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning ‘coming.’ It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday”. This month Fridays with Robynn will feature four Friday Advent pieces. Friday is a day of worship for many around the world. Fridays are also the day I get to write! And when I’m not grumpy I really love the Advent season. Happy First Friday of Advent to all of you!

Yesterday was a miserable day. I stayed in bed most of the day and drank hot tea. I cried lots. I watched a couple of mindless TV shows. I read some. But mostly I just felt sorry for myself.

And finally I phoned my mom. My dad was there too…and he was full of wisdom and humour.

But really it was a day when you just want to talk to your mom.

On Monday some very dear friends, the Chamberlains, from our India days came through. We hadn’t seen them in nearly two years. It was a wonderful reunion. My kids enjoyed their kids. We enjoyed them. Of course we stayed up way too late, attempting the impossible, trying to catch up on all the stories with all the heart. Tuesday morning after getting our own three kids out the door to school, we helped reluctantly get the Chamberlains out the door as well.

Tuesday afternoon I spent all afternoon baking and grieving the shortness of their visit, the ache of such sweet friendships we made in that far off place.  I was baking for an event later that evening, where we say thank you to all our dear Alpha volunteers. That same afternoon Lowell and I realized that the Environmental Missions project we oversee was very nearly broke. We had submitted an expense account for some rather large expenses only to be told they would have to hold off on reimbursing us because of lack of funds.

So you can see that by Wednesday I was done. I sunk into myself and savoured long sips of tea and long moments of self-pity.

I was suddenly lonely again—having said goodbye to our old friends. I was suddenly tired again—having poured out for family and friends and church. I was suddenly overwhelmed again—having realized our bank balances are low and will likely be this way for a while and it’s Christmas. I was suddenly sad and full of sorrow.  I was gray and ground to a groaning, grinding stop and I cried.

And then the text message came: “He’s here! Kendall Jason. Born November 27 at 12:01pm. 6lbs 9 oz 21 ¼ inches long”.

Everything changes when a baby is born. Instantly colour entered where everything had seemed so dismal. Immediately optimism was born. New life infused new meaning and a sense of hope into my soul. I got up and took a shower. I put on clean clothes. I suddenly had purpose again.  I grabbed the camera and headed out the door. Unexpected energy and excitement came with me.

We had a baby to visit.

I held the new little mister. I hugged his mama. I kissed his fresh head. Tears came to my eyes and spilled down my face. Miracles still happen. God still makes new babies. He still writes new stories. Grace and joy still exist. Suddenly my Wednesday didn’t seem so despondent, my heart wasn’t so close to despair.  I left the hospital smiling, hoping, happy.

Because it’s true! Everything does change when a Baby is born!