Thursday, April 13, 2006

C.S. Lewis, Hitler, and me

I just finished reading The Magicians Nephew to Caleb. It is the first book in The Chronicles of Narnia series. Anyway, without giving away too much, the two children in the book are in Narnia. They are enchanted by the talking animals and the beauty of the place. They are especially taken with the lion. The boys conniving Uncle Andrew, on the other hand, hates the place. He can't understand the animals or the lion; they speak only gibberish to him. The children experience the most wonderful adventure of their lives. They ride on a flying horse, they talk to a talking lion. They experience a beautiful world. Uncle Andrew has an entirely different experience. He is caged by the animals (they do this because they want to protect him) and then the animals, in an effort to feed him, pelt him with acorns while a very gracious bear gives him an entire beehive. Uncle Andrew is almost literally killed by kindness.

That got me to thinking, I wonder if Hitler would like heaven. I mean, if he got in, would he enjoy it? Would he like a place where all of his thoughts and deeds were known? Would he like a place where all people were joyful, and where he could never "rise to power." What would such a place look like where people with evil intent could never gain so much as a foothold? What would those people do?

Of course on Tuesday I didn't really need to think about Hitler. I hate to admit this, but I have Hitler moments. Moments when I find myself trying to control matters. And people. Sometimes I have the best of intentions. I find myself thinking, "If Eric would just agree with my plan, then his life would be so much easier; therefore, I'll jump up and down and beat my fist on the countertop until. I. Get. My. Way. Because after all my way is the best way (if it were not, I'd get a new way). And God wants what is best for us. Right?" Other times, the intentions aren't even that great, and on Tuesday, I found myself taking my wounded sense of justice out on my entire family in small, subtle and not so subtle ways. Everyone knew I was in a bad mood. And then I thought wow, this must be what Hitler felt like.

It is not fun to realize I can empathize with one of the greatest tyrants known in all of history. And then I began to wonder if I'd like heaven.

And today I think I would. Today, is not Tuesday. Sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday, while painting baseboards in the kitchen I had the come to Jesus meeting I'd been rehearsing for my family--you know the one where I would let them have it, and they would (even Elise, my one year old) realize how much they'd taken me for granted and fall at my feet in sorrow and remorse for their insensitivities. Well, really I'm the one who needed the meeting, but Jesus didn't do what I'd planned for my family. Instead we talked, and He let me know that everything would be okay. That if we are meant to be in Australia, then we will get there. He reminded me that all of this is periphery and that He is what I need to most love.

All that to say that things are going much better now.

No comments: