“I wish I was home,” said Jill.
Eustace nodded, saying nothing; and bit his lip.
“I have come,” said a deep voice behind them. They turned and saw the Lion himself, so bright and real and strong that everything else began at once to look pale and shadowy compared with him. And in less time than it takes to breathe Jill forgot about the dead King of Narnia and remembered only how she had made Eustace fall over the cliff, and how she had helped to muff nearly all the signs, and about all the snappings and quarrelings. And she wanted to say, “I’m sorry” but she could not speak. Then the Lion drew them toward him with is eyes, and bent down and touched their pale faces with his tongue, and said:
“Think of that no more. I will not always be scolding. You have done the work for which I sent you to Narnia.” (The Silver Chair, p. 236)
The windshield wipers sprayed the biting winter rain sideways. (I hate rain in the winter, by the way. I wish it would just snow). My sweet Emilie sat tiredly beside me in the passenger seat listening to this radio theater version of The Chronicles of Narnia while we drove.
With the AIM benefit Craft Fair concluded: the tables dismantled, the decorations undone, the friends departed…I, like Jill, was wishing I was home. I longed for the comfort of my bed, but just couldn’t rest inside my head. Despite the seemingly successful night, I kept questioning, “Had I truly been obedient tonight?”
Months ago it started with Him telling me what to do. “Hold a sewing class,” He said. “Tell people about my work in Cambodia,” He said. “Invite them to be part of something bigger than themselves. Something born of Love.”
So I stepped out on this adventure, this big idea that felt a lot like Moses being asked to “go to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). Two sewing classes, two Pink Room Screenings, two Agape International Missions fund-raisers in two months that raised nearly $2000 (!!). And in the final moments of the last event, she suggested more…
“This is great,” she said, “but…”
Such a tiny word – but. Like the finger nails of a cliff hanger about to break loose, this one little word bore the weight of greater expectations.
“But it could be so much more,” she finished.
She was just like me: a military wife, a mother, a Jesus-lover with a penchant for perfectionism. Her inner party planner / campaign coordinator / marketing maven attached itself to my current efforts at serving the King like a Kindergartener’s backpack. A bit heavier than I expected, perhaps?
What if she was right? What if this smallish, Tupperware party type gathering in the name of Jesus was not really enough? What if…
So the seeds of this Moses-like dream sprouted. Families from Hawaii, Nevada, Oklahoma, and more joined me. No longer was I teaching a small handful of girls to reclaim, restore, and redeem our American ashes into beautiful creations. Children across the country (!!) were being encouraged to do the same. Donating their time and talent, their hands and hearts, their love for the King all in the hopes of helping His people. And it turned out AMAZING!!
Fabulous food (Thank you, Kira!)
Christmas trimmings at every corner (Thank you, Erica!)
And of course, delightful reclaimed crafts filled every flat surface (Thank you, Melanie, Christie, Sarah, Deana, Susan, Megan, and all your girls, too!!).
Like a benefit boutique haven for the weary Christian American shopper – all for a fantastic cause.
And we raised over $2750 for AIM!!!!!
But was this His goal? This wooing women with beautiful shopping opportunities? This boutique bargain hunting? Where was His original message? His great rescue mission to reclaim, restore, and redeem His people? The signs pointing to The One who so loves the world that He still fights for freedom? Your freedom! Their freedom!
I felt a bit like Jill, remembering only how I had pushed God’s work in Cambodia, God’s message of redemption and restoration nearly off the cliff in favor of meeting the expectations of another American consumer. How I had helped to muff nearly all His signs to, “Just do whatever I tell you,” and how I, like Jill, had snapped and quarreled along the way. And I wanted to say, “I’m sorry” but I could not speak.
But He spoke. Right through that radio theater broadcast, right there in the front seat behind the biting winter rain…
“Think of that no more. I will not always be scolding. You have done the work for which I sent you to Narnia.”
And I exhaled liberally and inhaled the deep love I needed. I had done the work for which He sent me. I had permission to think on my perceived failures, my foibles, my self-interested motivation no more. It was time to go home.
“Please Aslan,” said Jill, “may we go home?”
“Yes. I have come to bring you Home,” said Aslan. Then he opened his mouth and blew.