Disclaimer: The beautiful land of Narnia and its people were the property of Mr. Lewis while he lived. Now, I imagine the ownership has been passed down to his descendants. I'm not one of them.
^..^You would not have called to me had I not called to you^..^
Lucy found Him first. It seemed natural that she would. She was the one who found Narnia before them. After the last adventure she, Edmund, and Eustace experienced, her mind was filled with the words Aslan spoke, about finding him in their world.
"I am," said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there."
She found that name, among many others He called Himself. The Lion and the Lamb struck a very significant chord within her in such a way tears filled her eyes. It was so sweet and glorious to think of all that He'd done to bring about this moment. This…reacquainting.
Lucy walked through the streets of London one night, tears standing in her eyes and making her vision swim. She didn't cry, but felt so happy that she thought she might. She laughed, and those tears spilled down her face in utter joy and amazement.
He was there. He'd been there all along, His life written down in the most glorious book. She'd not read it all; it was far thicker than any book she'd ever actually read. One day, she'd determined she'd know all of the stories of His life. Her only concern was whether or not she'd have a cup of tea large enough to get through all of it while she read.
More important than the reading of the Word had been the belief and the faith she'd had so easily in Narnia applied here. Faith in His blood sacrifice, death, and resurrection was all it took. She was His. He was hers.
She knew Him. She'd found Him. And knowing Him here was far better than there. Though He had no physical form here, having His Spirit in her, living in her and making her glorious. For the first time since leaving Him and Narnia, she could breathe. She was free from her vanities and worries and simply happy.
Still beaming, she paused in her walk to wipe the tears from her eyes. In the next moment, she was running to her aunt and uncle's house. There was no time to waste. She had to tell Edmund and the others His name.
Those that seek joy, true joy that can only come from the Throne of Heaven, find it.
^..^ Those that seek joy, true joy that can only come from the Throne of Heaven, find it ^..^
Edmund followed Lucy, naturally. Ever since the first visit and after his rescue from the Witch, he'd always been on her side. His little sister was a kind heart and a keen mind. Though younger, she very nearly always knew what she was talking about. Her simple, total faith, even as things seemed impossible and bleak, inspired him to believe. She was unshakeable and sure, and it helped him in a way he could never really thank her for.
When she came home teary and giggly and saying she'd found Aslan, he couldn't get her to tell him fast enough.
It took a little longer to convince Peter than Edmund and Eustace. However, that could be blamed on distance. His siblings were in London while he was in the country studying with the professor. The man gave him a number of different fields to study. History, mathematics, languages, and what the man deemed most important of all, His Story.
Out of all the subjects he studied, none drew him more than the words of the Bible. Especially when he read of Adam and Eve. Then onward about the 'Lion of the Tribe of Judah'. Indeed, for weeks, his other studies were grossly neglected, and Peter hounded the professor at all hours to answer whatever questions he had. In the course of it, old Professor Kirke learned a thing or two as well.
Edmund and Lucy were pleasantly surprised when Peter came home telling them about Aslan's name.
Peter was a bright boy. He always did the right thing.
^..^ We read to know that we are not alone ^..^
Susan was the last and hardest won out of them all.
She ran after parties, dresses, boys, attention. She'd gone after everything in this world she wanted and gotten quite a bit of it. It all felt so hollow now and dull. Before, it had sparkled and twinkled enticingly. Now, she didn't know why she'd wanted those things.
Such stupid, vain things. They didn't really make her happy or content. She'd liked the parties and appreciated having the boys' interest. Yet even before the accident, none of that had quite filled the gnawing desire in her. It was as if she had desires nothing in this world could satisfy.
Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do. After weeks of feeling sorry for herself and guilty and angry, after crying a river of sorrow each night, after her heart broke, she finally realized that. Logically, she couldn't really spend every day crying about something that wasn't her fault, right?
Of course, logically, how did it make sense to pretend that the magical land of talking animals and dancing trees was mere childhood fancy after living there many years? How foolish to have ever stopped believing.
It was not the first time she wondered but she was at her most coherent; she'd thought before she should have been with them. That she should have died with them. But what would have happened after that, in her state of faithlessness? Wouldn't she still have been separated from them anyway?
In Narnia, time flowed differently there than here. Perhaps there was a way she could return. She knew what He'd said now that she allowed herself to remember. Oh, did she remember! It as if every scene of her life in Narnia was archived perfectly and merely needed a thought to call it to the forefront of her mind. There wasn't a detail she could forget now, and it was a beautiful pain. She couldn't go back.
Yet in her spirit down to her soul she knew that her family was with Aslan, even Peter. But how could she be with them, with Him?
Another memory, this one of here, flashed into her mind. Lucy and Edmund eagerly trying to tell her that they'd found Him. That He was in their world as well. She'd dismissed them and Peter's troubled looks her way and ignored the way her heart had leapt at that revelation. She remembered she'd had an outing with friends that night and left them calling after her. Lucy had…paper…and a book? She'd written something down and had been trying to get her to read it. But she walked away, claiming she'd be late. Susan recalled that she left but couldn't remember what she did with those friends of hers. It wasn't important now. It hadn't been important then.
The morning sun slanted through the drawn shades of her room. Susan often spent much of her time here now, no matter the hour. She'd had no energy or will to do anything. As the memory of Lucy's words settled within her, a question sprang forth.
What had they wanted to show me?
With more vitality than she'd had in years, Susan leapt from her bed, barely pausing to grab her dressing robe from the foot of her bed. She missed, her hand following the rest of her body toward the door, and kept going. She didn't need it anyway. No one else was here.
Susan thundered into the hall and just across to a room she hadn't entered in many days. It was very neat and clean, with a bed along one wall. The blue quilted mattress looked inviting, just waiting for the girl to come back and take a nap. Of course, that girl was gone from this world. Susan pointedly didn't look that way; instead, her attention went to the little desk on the opposite wall. Biting her lip and sending a plea somewhere, she scanned the surface and found it. That little notebook tucked in between the pages of a thick, black book. She gently turned it over and read the title.
It was a Bible. She opened the pages and pulled the notebook out. There were loose sheets tucked between that, and she removed those as well. Flipping through them, she saw words and names with numbers written out in her sister's looping script. She felt her throat tighten just from looking at it and closed her eyes tight. It was some minutes before she regained most of her composure. Now, she could read with only some of the letters swimming in her vision. Several of the sheets seemed to be notes, but a folded one with her name written across it caused her to pause.
Her brow creased in puzzlement. Her sister had written her a letter? When they lived in the same house?
'I know you don't believe anymore. I'm sorry for that. I love you, but I know you. You won't change your mind without what you think is a good reason.
'I read a verse the other day in 1 Samuel. There was a woman named Hannah who couldn't have children, and she was so broken over it. But she never stopped having faith. One day, she was praying in the temple and the priest thought she was drunk, what with the way her mouth moved but no sound came out. Can you imagine! She corrected very respectfully and told him her trouble then he told her that the God would take care of everything. But the verse was this: 'And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. And the women went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.'
'This has become part of my daily prayer for you. That I won't be so sad about it. And that He will give you a reason to believe. Whatever it takes.
'You may not believe now and don't want to listen. Still, I'll never stop praying for you. I'll never stop loving you, even though you're not fun anymore…again.
There came those dreadful tears again. Oh, how puffy and red her whole face must look! Yet she didn't care one whit for her appearance. At some point reading the letter, the young woman had sunk to the floor in hopeless despair.
Lucy, dear Lucy! Out of them all, why did she have to be gone? It didn't matter that she was youngest; her sister knew and believed. Maybe she could have believed enough for Susan too.
Yet Susan knew better than that; riding on someone else's faith, no matter how strong was worthless. But He wasn't Aslan here. What was she to believe then? Lost and searching, she spent hours on the floor of her sister's room, pouring over notes and Scriptures. Some, she didn't understand; some she understood all too well. While most of the notes were in her sister's hand, quite a few were Edmund's messy scrawl and Peter's strong strokes. In a way, that calmed and distressed her. They'd cared enough to write out and highlight these words just for her, it seemed. On the other hand, her siblings had all known something she hadn't, leaving her out. But it had been her choice, hadn't it?
She read on.
I am the way, the truth, and the life.
Behold, the Lion who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome…
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast.
By the time she'd read her fill, the shadows had begun to grow long, and her knees ached from where she'd knelt. Her body heaved with sobs, and she bent over at her shame. It was as if the scales had fallen away from her eyes. She'd turned away from Him. She'd denied Him. That filled her with a whole new pain like none before it.
Her broken voice rasped out apologies and pleas for forgiveness. Her mouth could barely form the words between her crying. Yet with the man believeth unto righteous, and with the mouth salvation is made known; it is the same for woman. For the first time in years, Gentle Queen Susan prayed and prayed like never before. She prayed for forgiveness, salvation, renewal, peace. She prayed for her heart and desires to change. She prayed to be used in His glory and magnify his beautiful name. She prayed He would help her unbelief.
The earth didn't quake, and the sun didn't go out. The skies didn't thunder, and a voice didn't shout from the heavens. No. In that darkened room, new life was restored to a dead, lost woman. Only a still, quiet peace that could rival the feel of a Narnian spring settled over her. It left her shaking and gasping in awe and in wonder.
It is done, dear heart.
She bowed her body low to the floor.
"…in Jesus' name. Amen."
A/N: Susan's piece got away from me a little bit and it took quite a bit of chasing. Questions, comments, thoughts?