The Secret Power of Scars

My son has glaring white scars that stretch across his back like an epidermal interstate.

When he was fourteen, he contracted a debilitating case of flu. After several hours, (before I knew this could happen), he experienced “vasovagal syncope” (from the strain of the illness) and fainted. He came around faster than I could get to him from the other room where I heard the thud, so, I thought all was well.

“Mom, I think I hurt myself,” he said, turning around to reveal second and third degree burns inflicted on his back when he’d fallen against our old-fashioned iron radiator. He was in shock, and I fought not to be. After one day in the emergency room, and a month of burn treatments, he was left with the lasting marks. Continue Reading →

There is a Deeper Magic

Remember in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when Aslan is put to death by the Witch but is then resurrected and he tells Susan and Lucy that he is alive because he knows of a “deeper magic”?

He tells the girls “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge only goes back to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”

Do you live by the Deeper Magic? Is your life marked by the effects of “Death working backwards?”

This week I’ve encountered people living lives untouched by the deeper magic of Christ. Living marked by unrelenting sorrows, following religious rules with no understanding and no hope of finding life within those rules, facing a future of escalating physical limitation, or perhaps enjoying an outwardly satisfying life but inwardly knowing no joy, no hope, no meaning. I have experienced a profound sadness with each encounter.

C.S.Lewis, who wrote The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, lived in days marked by World War I and under the gathering cloud of World War II. There was nothing rosy about his world and yet he knew the hope of death working backwards. The Apostle John also knew great sorrow and suffering, living in a time of great turmoil, Roman rule and the martyrdom of believers and yet, he wrote of Jesus in John 1:3 “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

The great Eeyore apostle, fondly known as Doubting Thomas, does not strike me as an optimistic, cheery fellow. He seems like a serious man who always wanted proof and firsthand knowledge of events before committing himself to them. Yet, when Jesus decided to head to Judea where men were plotting His death, Thomas was willing to accompany him. His gloomy words were “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” Thomas saw in Jesus a deeper magic that made death with Him seem more appealing than life without Him.

I am one of those who live by the deeper magic. I know hardship and trouble, disease and distress, panic in the dark of night and unfulfilled dreams but the roots of my life tap into a deep flowing stream that sucks living water into the marrow of my soul. My days are imbued with grace, with miracles, with rich meaning and with joy no circumstances can dislodge. This is because Jesus lives and works in my life the amazing truth of death working backwards. I am more alive today than I was yesterday and I move ever forward to the day when I am so alive I will break out of this world.

Holy week approaches and it is a good time to meet Jesus for yourself. Be like Thomas. Don’t believe what others say, go directly to the source. Read one of the gospels. Even if you’ve sat in church for a hundred years, tell Jesus you want to know Him one-to-one. Don’t let anything get in your way – not the imperfect church, not your own prejudices, not the false teaching of imposters, not your own personal darkness. Something within you rises up right now at the hope that there is a deeper magic. Don’t let that hope go unexplored. Get to Jesus.

And if you already know Him, tell Him you want to know Him more, that you’re ready to go deeper.