“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
This is one of my favorites.
He isn’t safe but He is good.
It took me a while.
Some things do.
It takes me a while to figure them out, that is.
I tend to think of safe as a physical manifestation. I wear my seatbelt because it keeps me safe in a car crash. I look both ways to cross the street because that’s safe. I lock up medications and keep poisons out of the reach of children. I know the phone number to poison control. When my children were babies, I didn’t just have a car seat properly installed in my car, I took the multi-day course and test to learn and be certified to do it myself.
I am hypervigilant to keep myself and those I love safe, and safe is good – but this Mr. Beaver quote seemed to contradict that entirely.
I like safe. I like predictability, and I like knowing what to expect.
By nature I am none of those things so I tend to gravitate towards those things, those types of people. My husband is that way, safe, loyal, predictable. Most people use the terms “easy-going, relaxed.” I am rarely easy-going or relaxed. I think the term is “high-strung” definitely not “safe.”
I rocked back and forth between this quote for a time. Had he (Lewis) gotten it wrong for the sake of authorship, good writing just to sell books? I ruminated over this one like a year-old piece of salt water taffy, and I kept coming back to the acknowledgement in the statement about his character,
“He is good. He is King.”
After months (yes, months) of pondering, I realized it was my definition of safe that was the actual issue. I thought safe was keeping me from harm and in that regard I was not entirely correct. I had only viewed safe in the terms I had outlined above. Physical safety alone.
What I had not taken into consideration were the other aspects of His nature that I can not understand. His ways are not my ways; His thoughts are not my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8) If they were, then I would have on my hands a messiah of my own making and He would cease to be God.
When we follow Him, when we walk in tandem with Jesus, our lives are never going to be the same. We are confronted with the things that are unpredictable, unprecedented, and have the ability to stretch us, to transform us, and to make us more and more like Him everyday.
We are no longer in place of expected predictability but rather remarkable, unpredictable, benevolence.
He is not safe, not like I traditionally think of safety, but He is good, He is God, and …
HE IS KING.