I was re-watching the movie Shadowlands the other day and I came across the scene where Douglas, the little boy, discovers the wardrobe standing in C.S. Lewis’ attic. He slowly and carefully approaches it, puts his small hands on the doors and flings open the doors quickly. Briskly, he starts parting the coats, trying desperately to reach the back of the wardrobe, hoping he’ll find the way to Narnia there. Of course, he doesn’t. As he flings coats to each side, trying to reach the back of the wardrobe, his hands hit the back of the wardrobe with a loud thump, thump, thump.
The look on his face says it all. Douglas was looking for Narnia.
It’s not just innocent children, like Douglas,that are looking for Narnia.
I believe we’re all looking for Narnia.
We all hope to find the miracle, the happiness, the happy ending at the end of so much struggle. That everything will be tied up in a neat bow after such an arduous journey of sad.We’re desperately looking for it.
We fling open those wardrobe doors and briskly brush the coats to each side, just wanting to get to the back of the wardrobe. We want to find the lamp post shining brightly. We want to find Mr. Tumnus waiting for us, to take us to his comfortable home and serve us tea by a roaring fire. We want to believe that Aslan will make everything alright and the White Witch will be defeated. We don’t want to believe, even as adults, that Narnia isn’t actually real.
We are looking for Narnia and we don’t even know it.
But life is messy and the happy ending doesn’t always happen. We find, at the back of the wardrobe, the feel of the hard, cold wood on our fingertips. It makes us sad to discover it. It takes our breath away when we discover the truth.
Life is like that.
At the end of struggle, we may not find happiness. At the end of so much struggle, we may not find the happy ending. At the end of so much struggle, everything may not be tied up in a neat bow.
Usually it’s not. That’s just the way life is.
But I believe we can be assured that God’s love will carry us through our times of struggle. I believe that if we seek Him, we may not find happiness but we will find joy. And peace. And mercy, too.
For as we are looking for Narnia, we find God. Unlike the back of the wardrobe, everything about Him is real. He does exist. Everything that He promises, He will make true.
I believe that. To the very depths of my soul.
Here’s the clip from Shadowlands. I love the imagery of it. I could feel the anticipation of Douglas’ discovery of the wardrobe and I took a deep breath with him, when he discovered the truth.
The scene is from 5:10-7:10.