WHOLEHEARTEDNESS


"We must now go back a bit and explain what the whole scene had looked like from Uncle Andrew’s point of view. It had not made at’ all the same impression on him as on the Cabby and the children. For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.

Ever since the animals had first appeared, Uncle Andrew had been shrinking further and further back into the thicket. He watched them very hard of course; but he wasn’t really interested in seeing what they were doing, only in seeing whether they were going to make a rush at him. Like the Witch, he was dreadfully practical. He simply didn’t notice that Aslan was choosing one pair out of every kind of beasts. All he saw, or thought he saw, was a lot of dangerous wild animals walking vaguely about. And he kept on wondering why the other animals didn’t run away from the big Lion.

When the great moment came and the Beasts spoke, he missed the whole point; for a rather interesting reason. When the Lion had first begun singing, long ago when it was still quite dark, he had realized that the noise was a song. And he had disliked the song very much. It made him think and feel things he did not want to think and feel. Then, when the sun rose and he saw that the singer was a lion (”only a lion,” as he said to himself) he tried his hardest to make believe that it wasn’t singing and never had been singing – only roaring as any lion might in a zoo in our own world. “Of course it can’t really have been singing,” he thought, “I must have imagined it. I’ve been letting my nerves get out of order. Who ever heard of a lion singing?” And the longer and more beautiful the Lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring.

Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. Uncle Andrew did. He soon did hear nothing but roaring in Aslan’s song. Soon he couldn’t have heard anything else even if he had wanted to. And when at last the Lion spoke and said, “Narnia awake,” he didn’t hear any words: he heard only a snarl."

- The Magicians Nephew (emphasis my own)

All of my life I have lived with a fear of abandonment.  Yes, certainly, it stems from a birthmother changing her mind a couple of times about me, but at one point or another, as an adult, a thinking follower of Jesus adult, I continued to choose fear.  I continued to raise the ramparts of my heart.

I entered into my marriage believing that one day my husband would leave me.   And so, in time, I made that belief my reality.  But it was only real in my mind, you see.    I could not hear the Song, at least not the complete Song, because I only believed there would snarl.  A few years back, all who know me intimately watched as I collapsed in fear.  It has taken 3 years for me to get back up.  And two weeks ago, just as I had began to stand steady again, I went right back to sit in the chair of fear. 

“Of course it can’t really have been singing,” he thought, “I must have imagined it. I’ve been letting my nerves get out of order. Who ever heard of a lion singing?” And the longer and more beautiful the Lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring."

Anyone who has ever entered the living room of my heart has seen this broken chair in which I sit everyday, this chair called fear.  Deceived, I think its hidden in some dark corner.   I go through my days refusing to see where I return to "rest" each evening.   But all who enter see it clearly.  In fact it is, this broken chair called fear, the most prominent piece of furniture in my hearts room.  That fear makes me recoil then strike.  I, oddly, have never been able to see that until now.

And so, this Valentines Day week, like I made that choice long ago, I am making a new choice.   Admittedly, even typing this is difficult for me.   I am making the choice to hear the Song and not the snarl.  I am choosing to believe in my God and thus my marriage and the man that my family and dearest friends have always seen Doug to be.  I am turning from what everything in me screams:  I will be left behind.  Because at the end of the day, even if I was left behind by Doug, or anyone else I give my heart to, I would still be ok.  I have a God that has never and will never leave me behind.  Therefore I will not fear.

English Poet David Whyte once said, "the antidote to exhaustion is not rest but wholeheartedness." 

Wholeheartedness.  What a concept.  Imagine that.  When Jesus was asked what the most important thing for us to do was, He said the same thing.