A quiet breath in the darkness

Have you ever read The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis?   My sister asked me to read them a few years ago and I am so thankful to her for it… I love these books!

In the book, The Horse and his Boy, Shasta is a little boy who is running away from the only home he has ever known and trying to get north to the free land of Narnia.

At one point in the story he has nearly reached his destination, but is left behind again because he can’t direct the horse he is riding.  He is very tired and begins to feel so sad and  so sorry for himself as he rides through a very dark night.  What startles him out of his woe and sorrows is a sudden fright.  He suddenly notices that someone is breathing right next to him in the darkness.

– From The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis
What put a stop to all of this was a sudden fright. Shasta discovered that someone or somebody was walking beside him. It was pitch dark and he could see nothing. And the Thing (or Person) was going so quietly that he could hardly hear any footfalls. What he could hear was breathing. His invisible companion seemed to breathe on a very large scale, and Shasta got the impression that it was a very large creature. And he had come to notice this breathing so gradually that he had really no idea how long it had been there. It was a horrible shock.

So he (Shasta) went on at a walking pace and the unseen companion walked and breathed beside him. At last he could bear it no longer.

“Who are you?” he said, barely above a whisper.

“One who has waited long for you to speak,” said the Thing.

The reason I am telling you about this is because it happened to me this morning.  My husband is away and as I was waking up this morning I heard a quiet breathing in the darkness next to me.  When I first heard it I lay in the darkness just listening to it and wondering who or what it was.  Then I thought I must be hearing my own breathing so I held my breath for a moment and listened and it was still there, steady and quiet.  My next thought was that one of my girls must have quietly come into my room in the middle of the night and was sleeping somewhere on the ground or in the bed.  With that thought I sat up in bed to look around the room.  There was no one else in the room with me.

I laid back down and listened to the breathing for a few more minutes before my alarm sounded to begin a hectic morning which made me quickly forget the sound of someone breathing by my side.

Later after everyone was off to school and I was finally sitting down to a cup of coffee, I remembered the breath in the darkness and I thought of Shasta and Alsan, the High King above all kings, breathing next to him in the darkness.

What if our sweet Jesus was here with me this morning as I was waking up?  What if He was here waiting for me to acknowledge Him, talk with Him and ask Him what He would like me to do today?

I am sad that I missed my chance to whisper into the darkness, “Who are you?”, but thanks to Shasta’s example I hope I will not miss my opportunity next time.

We don’t sit quietly and listen enough my friends.  He might be here with us more often than we realize and with all of the noise and distractions we have setup for ourselves there is no way we will ever hear His quiet breath as He patiently waits for us in the darkness.

When words aren’t enough…

I am not very good at defending what I believe or giving convincing reasons for my faith. A while ago I was in a discussion with someone and I became totally tongue-tied and could give no better reason for believing in Jesus than to just say, “Because… I do”.  For some reason I was thinking about this earlier today and for one moment thought, maybe I am crazy, but then I remembered sweet, consistent, reliable Puddleglum from The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis.

Puddleglum said to the witch:

“One word, Ma’am” he said coming back from the fire; limping because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.

Even if I can’t explain why, I would rather spend the rest of my life following Jesus and trying to live like Him, real or not, than follow anyone else!

Jesus help us to remember that most of the time we don’t need any words;  when words fail us, we only need to believe in You, love You and follow You.  We need to have faith so You can shine through!