“Are you not thirsty?” said the lion.
“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the lion.
“May I — could I — would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
“Will you promise not to — do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
“Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.
“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.
“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”
“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.
—Excerpt from The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis
I love this scene because it’s one we all find ourselves in.
You were born with it. And can die of it, too.
You need water to live. But there’s just one problem: you can only get it from one source. And you have to cross a Lion to get there. (Who very well may swallow you up.)
Oh yes, you were made to be wild my friend. To drink deeply. To live truly. To wrestle and walk away with grass in your hair. To live life alive. And to discover the most terrifyingly beautiful One of all; the only one who gives you what you need. And crave.
Run barefoot to the ends of the earth and you will not find a love like this. Drink anything you like–but to find Living Water…
“There is no other stream.”
Such a cool analogy how Christ can be a lion and a lamb all at once. He does indeed devour the nations, praise The Lord. Reminded me of this verse in Amos 4:
12 “Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel,
and because I will do this to you, Israel,
prepare to meet your God.”
13 He who forms the mountains,
who creates the wind,
and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,
who turns dawn to darkness,
and treads on the heights of the earth—
the Lord God Almighty is his name.
I have been reflecting on this all weekend. My mom read this book to me when I was a little girl and it impacted me so strongly at even such a young age. I love the way you explained it: He is terrifying and beautiful all wrapped up in one. And He is the only One who can satisfy. Thank you for this amazing reminder.
This is interesting because I see the Lion as life and the challenge to remain unstained by the world. Life and the devil create a barrier to the stream. To reach Christ, you must surrender and put all faith in Him that he will provide and save you through any storm.
Beautiful. Than you for posting!
Thank you so much for commenting! I want to apologize that I may have not explained clearly enough in this post. I can see how I may have been confusing here. Yes, the Lion represents life, in the Narnia series (where this is from) Aslan, the Lion represents Christ. When I said that you have to “cross a lion” to “get to the stream,” I meant that you have to have an encounter with Christ. The lion and the stream are really one. From Christ (the Lion of Judah), also flows the Living Water, and the River of Life (which quenches our thirst). In this illustration the Lion (representing Jesus) is the one who quenches our thirst, and gives us the water (satisfaction) we need. This is why in the excerpt, when Jill asks (Him) to leave while she drinks, it was like asking the whole mountain to move. Because the Lion and the Stream that will quench her thirst, cannot be separated. What I was trying to convey through this illustration is that we all have thirst, and Christ (whom we must encounter) is the only one who can quench our thirst. Sorry I was not more clear about that! However, I do think you are right that this life and the devil certainly DO keep us from the stream and from Christ. And I’m glad the Lord still spoke to you through it, even though I did a less-than-perfect job of explaining it! 🙂 Please let me know if I can explain anything better!