Disclaimer: I do not own Narnia or any of the characters therein.
I was there. It was real. How could I have forgotten it? I saw Him die. I saw Him live. I was there. I have refused to believe it for so long; for so long I have denied it all. Denied Narnia. The land where I once was queen. Denied Aslan.
Aslan. The Great Lion. The Son of the Emperor Over the Sea. He once told us, told Lucy and Edmund, that He had another name here. I know it now. Jesus Christ, the Son of Man and Son of God. How could I have not known? They knew. I know they did. They remembered. I forgot. But I will no longer.
Aunt Alberta begged and pleaded with me to with her and Uncle Harold to an Easter service. It had been three years since I set foot inside a church. I blamed God for my family's death. He could have stopped them, I thought. He could have made them forget that fantasy land that they constantly insisted upon talking about. Now I know why they didn't. I went with Aunt, not because I wanted to, but because I knew that I would never hear the end of it if I did not. Aunt Alberta and Uncle Harold never were much of ones for going to church, but they thought it their duty to attend on the special days and frowned upon my never attending. I am glad they made me go. For now I remember.
There was a play, a passion play. At first I paid little attention—I was thinking more about how I looked than what was happening—but then I heard something, I don't know exactly what. Maybe it was a child's innocent exclamation, or someone's line from the play, but it caught my attention. I saw Judas betray the one they called Jesus with a kiss. I saw the soldiers fall down before the man when he said only "I am he." I saw him led away, beaten, scourged, spat on, and mocked. Tears were rolling down my face as the soldiers led him to a cross. I forgot that it was a play and that none of it was real. I wanted to scream, to tell them to stop, that this man had done nothing wrong; how I knew he was innocent, I could not tell. But I could not speak.
I saw them nail his hands to that cross. I saw him die. I saw his friends weeping at the foot of his cross. And the tears fell faster, harder; I was sobbing, weeping for a man that I did not know. They took him down and buried him in a stone tomb. There was silence as a narrator told us that three days passed. And then, I saw him live again. And I knew. I knew where I had seen it before. I knew how I knew. I knew why the name of "Jesus" sounded familiar. It was a name my brothers and sister, and even Eustace, spoke of at times. A name that sent thrills through me. I fled from the church. For the first time in years I did not care what people thought of me, for I knew.
I knew what they did not. I was there. I saw Aslan die. I saw Him that day when He offered Himself in Edmund's place. I was with Him when he walked that long road to the Stone Table. I buried my hands in His mane. I gave Him comfort, He said. Me comfort Him? I know not how it was possible. I saw all the witch's creatures beat Him, mock Him, spit on Him, and scorn Him. I was there. I saw the evil ones drag Him to the Table. I saw the witch with her knife as she raised it high and then plunged it low. I saw Aslan die.
But I was there too when He rose again. I was there with Lucy, weeping over His cold body, crying until we had no more tears to cry. I was there when the Stone Table cracked and death worked backwards. I saw Him come over the hill, larger and greater, and more beautiful than He had ever been before. I hesitated, thinking Him a ghost, but He breathed on me and I knew. I played with Him. I rode on Him. I was there.
Yes, I was there when Aslan died and when He rose again. When He told me that I could never come back to Narnia, I was devastated. But where Peter kept a remembrance of Narnia in his heart, I strove to squelch all memories of that place. And then Lucy and Edmund came back from their holiday saying they had been to Narnia again, with Eustace. I hated them for going back. They said they couldn't return again and told us, Peter and I, that Aslan had another name here. Peter was excited and they began searching for it. I laughed and pretended it had all been a game. Then they found Him and I did not. And He took them home for they were ready. I was not.
I am ready now. I know who Aslan is. I know of His boundless love. And if He has a different name here, what is there in that? He is still the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. His love is unconditional and perfect, yet He loves me enough to not leave me where I am. He will make me Queen again.
I know. I remember. I am Queen Susan, once called "The Gentle," one of the four rulers of Narnia who sat enthroned at Cair Paravel. I am one who wept over Aslan's body, and rejoiced at His return. I reigned with Peter the Magificent, High King over all kings of Narnia, Edmund the Just, redeemed by the grace of Aslan, and Lucy the Valiant, the joy and laughter of the kingdom. I forgot once but, by the strength of Aslan, who once called me "lioness," I will not forget again.
AN—As noted in my profile, I am a Christian, and a staunch one at that. I know there are some who choose not to see the Christian themes in "The Chronicles of Narnia," but I am not among them. I do not think "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" is an allegory, Lewis said it was not, but I do think that Aslan is a picture of Christ in that world and what happened at the Stone Table, a picture of what Christ did for us. For me. Let me know what you think.