There Is a Deeper Magic…

“If the Witch knew the true meaning of sacrifice, she might have interpreted the deep magic differently. That when a willing victim who has committed no treachery, is killed in a traitor’s stead, the stone table will crack, and even death itself would turn backwards.”

–Aslan, from The Chronicles of Narnia

Yesterday, my team and I watched Narnia with some of our students. I’ve read the book countless times and seen the movie even more-…but never before has the story gripped me in such an intensely personal way.

You know the story. The White Witch has cast an evil spell over the magical land of Narnia-making it always winter, and never Christmas. Those who oppose her are turned to stone, and Narnia is devoid of all joy and life. What was created as paradise has become a frigid wasteland.

Sometimes, Senegal feels like that Narnia.

In the movie, Mr. Tumnus describes a different Narnia to Lucy-the Narnia that Aslan (the Christ-figure in the story) created.

Lucy: Winter isn’t all bad. There’s ice skating and snow ball fights. Oh! And Christmas!

Tumnus: We haven’t had Christmas in a hundred years here.

Lucy: (shocked) No presents for a hundred years?

Tumnus: But, oh, you would have loved Narnia in spring! The Dryads and the Fauns would dance all night… but we never got tired. And oh, the music! Such music.

I don’t know what Senegal was like before the spiritual winter that has such rigid grip on this country took hold. I don’t know what music was like before the mournful melody of the mosque. What did Senegal look like before fear replaced joy? Before condemnation replaced grace?

With Esperence, Jessica and Fatou Bintou right before we started Narnia.

I don’t know. But here’s the beautiful thing: there is a deeper magic at work in Senegal. I don’t spend my days talking about the gospel with students to help God win some sort of battle-I spend my days talking about the gospel because He has already won it! I get to talk with students about what has already been done.   And last night, I got to talk with some of my girls about the “deeper magic” that has radically, forever changed every nuance of my life: grace. The gospel is that my sin is great-but God’s love is greater still! God saw me, hopelessly lost in sin, and ransomed me from death and darkness at an unimaginable  cost.  What unexpected, undeserved grace. I am far more loved and cherished than I can imagine-and so are you! That ought to permeate and change every aspect of our lives.

We don’t have to live in perpetual winter, under the icy reign of the White Witch. We need only recognize that Aslan has already brought Spring back to Narnia. He has already won.

Some of our students watching Narnia.

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