I decided to re-read The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis this year. There are few things more comforting than curling up on the couch in a fuzzy blanket in the dim of the evening and getting lost in the wonder of the Narnian universe with its talking animals, fauns, and, of course, Aslan.
As I made my way through the books, I began to have a much deeper appreciation for the character of Lucy, the youngest of the Pevensie siblings. The more reacquainted I became with her character, the more I felt convinced that she is the perfect literary heroine for our weary, jaded times.
In the Bible, God tells us of the vision He has for transforming our hearts:
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. // Ezekiel 36:26
Lucy provides such a beautiful example of what this “heart of flesh” looks like. It is one that is pure, courageous, quick to forgive, and above all, confident in Christ’s love.
Living life like Lucy Pevensie is the antidote to the fog of despair and cynicism. Her character is a blueprint for how to live out spiritual childhood.
Childlike Confidence in God’s Love
One of the things that really pierced my heart as I read Narnia this time was how intense and utterly trusting is Lucy’s love for Aslan. No matter the circumstances, whenever she sees Aslan, she runs to him immediately, ready to embrace him, expecting like a little child to receive his love and delight in return. She’s never held back by shame or fear. And sometimes when he leaves, she openly weeps because she can’t bear to be separated from him. She acts like the daughter I want to be with my Heavenly Father! A
ll too often we shy away from Him because we don’t understand His kindness and eagerness to receive us. If only more of us had hearts like Lucy’s—open, trusting, always ready to run to God’s embrace, completely confident in His tender love.
Lucy’s confidence in Aslan’s love bears much fruit, including great courage. With this courage she’s able to have the fortitude to stay near Aslan when he is killed by the White Witch, even though it is a painful and terrifying experience for her. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when she and her friends are caught in a literal cloud of pitch darkness that never seems to end, Lucy sees others around her panicking and despairing. But instead of losing hope, she murmurs a quiet, loving request for Aslan’s help and guidance.
Aslan’s love lights a fire in Lucy’s heart, a fire that gives her strength for whatever difficulties come. In Prince Caspian, when Aslan asks her to do something difficult, at first she feels afraid, unsure if she can accomplish it. But right away, she leans on him for help and receives the strength she needs:
Lucy buried her head in his mane to hide from his face. But there must have been some magic in his mane. She could feel lion-strength going into her. Quite suddenly she sat up. ‘I’m sorry, Aslan,’ she said. ‘I’m ready now.’ ‘Now you are a lioness,’ said Aslan. ‘And now all Narnia will be renewed.’
Whatever the circumstances, Lucy’s always looking towards Aslan, and that sustains her through fear.
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Readiness to Forgive
Lucy has a refreshing self-forgetfulness that allows her to forgive and move forward, without clinging to past injuries and grudges. When she first meets the faun, Mr. Tumnus, he intends to betray her to the White Witch. When he finally confesses this in a flood of tears, Lucy’s immediate reaction is to forgive him. She even offers him her handkerchief as a token of their friendship.
When Lucy’s siblings refuse to believe that she’s discovered the magical land of Narnia, it hurts her. And yet, when her Peter finally realizes that she’s right and offers an apology, she accepts right away.
A Pure Heart
Lucy is often the first to see invisible realities. At first, it is Narnia itself. Then, throughout multiple books, she is often the first to see Aslan when others cannot. I can’t help but recall Jesus’ words in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” Lucy’s faith in Aslan has a simplicity that makes it purer than anyone else’s. She doesn’t let other concerns crowd her heart and compete for Aslan’s love.
When she sees the truth or when she sees goodness, she simply goes for it without overthinking things. This singleness of purpose in her love frees her to see with clearer vision and experience deep joy. It opens greater adventures to her, makes her life deeper, richer, and more vibrant.
Read and Be Ready
If you haven’t read the Narnia books, I highly encourage you to pick them up this year. Officially they might be children’s literature, but the books are just as valuable reading for adults, if not more so! There is so much spiritual richness to each story that it would take an entire book to talk about each. And if you are an old friend of Narnia, take a little time to revisit it. You will come away refreshed and encouraged, ready to become your own Lucy Pevensie.
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Maria Bonvissuto works in marketing for a Catholic all-girls school in Northern Virginia. She is always reading at least two books at a time, loves playing classical guitar and writing, and is a major St. Augustine fangirl.