Friday night was one of the best nights I have had in longer than I can remember. I can’t think of the last time I’ve smiled for that long, felt more at ease, or been more at peace. It was just one of those nights that felt the way I always hoped life would. Good friends, good conversation, good music. It felt hopeful. And it felt like freedom.
Frequently, its easy for me to question whether the hope I have is well-founded. With all the junk that happens in the world, can I really go on believing that the foundations of life, the very substance of creation is love and faith and goodness? Isn’t that just naive of me? But then, if that’s naivety, I don’t want to face reality. It reminds me of that scene in the Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis when Eustace, Jill, Puddleglum, and the Prince have to convince the evil witch that the world is bigger and better than the false kingdom she’s constructed underground.
“One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things–trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”
I will keep fighting for that feeling. The feeling of freedom and trust and love. The willingness to let down the walls we all construct to protect ourselves. Because maybe, one day, we won’t need to protect ourselves. Because we will all take care of each other. We will laugh and live and dream and be. And if that’s not true, if there is not a better way, then whats the point? Why would we long for Eden if it didn’t exist? If we didn’t catch the scent of its gardens when the wind blows strong and sweet? I believe the life we want is out there. The feeling we get in moments when the world feels so right, someday that feeling will last.
But until then, we have to hope. Hope that something will take these dry bones and knit them together. Cover them with sinews and muscles and flesh. Fill us with wind, with the spirit, with breath. Hope that one day these dry bones will walk, run, dance. I think they will.