I have always been impacted by the story of Eustice in Narnia in which C.S Lewis speaks to the image of change that God does in us.
The scene starts with Eustace, a rotten boy, who has found himself in possession of a large fortune. He imagines the life and comforts he could now enjoy, and in his comforts he falls asleep with his treasure. When he awakes, Eustace is no longer a boy but a dragon, the outward manifestation of his inner greed and selfishness.
The trouble for Eustice is he begins to become aware of the pain his new condition is causing him, and how he is now isolated and alone – and he begins to weep. In mercy arriving to heal, Aslan the lion arrives and tells him to undress. With his new claws, Eustace begins tearing at his dragon skin. He peels off one layer only to discover another nasty, scaly, and rough layer underneath. And then another. After three layers, he realizes it’s vain — he will never make himself clean or get rid of his pain or shed the nasty skin.
“You will have to let me undress you,” says Aslan the Lion.
So desperate was Eustace, even his fear of Aslan’s claws was not enough to stop him from laying down flat on his back. Laying anxious on the ground, here’s what Eustace felt…
“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off — just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt — and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me — I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. . . . After a bit the lion took me out and dressed me . . . in new clothes.”
This whole scene speaks volumes to me and maybe you.
As we work through Altar ego, lets ensure we are serious about not just change, but also that we lay our life down and allow God to change us. This may be a bit painful – but it is always good. We look our ego (our sin) in the face. We too were a dragons, ugly, nasty, snake-skinned creatures deep in self-made misery, lonely and fearful. But because of the grace of God, the Lion of Judah beckons us to the Well of Living Water.
*adapted from an article by Luma Simms on www.desiringgod.org