They are powerful symbolic narratives that have the ability to soften our hearts, expose injustice, convict us of our culpability, or reveal profound truths.
I recently came across a compelling one in C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian.
The four Pevensie children and Trumpkin the dwarf are trying to make their way across a gorge to get to the Stone Table. Peter has been leading them, choosing a route based on his intimate knowledge of Narnia from his days as High King.
Only that was hundreds of years ago, and the terrain has changed dramatically.
They end up completely lost.
Suddenly, Lucy catches a glimpse of Aslan in the distance, convinced that he wants them all to follow him. Not having seen the Lion themselves, the rest of them doubt Lucy, skeptical that he would appear to just her and not all of them. Plus, he was in the opposite direction of the way that seemed the most sensible! They take a vote and Peter decides to continue down the gorge as planned, ignoring Lucy’s vision.
Predictably, they run into trouble and are forced to backtrack, realizing a little too late that they should have listened to Lucy in the first place.
That night, Lucy encounters Aslan face to face and receives a gentle rebuke for not coming up to him alone when she saw him, even if it meant leaving the others.
Then he gives her a task:
“If you go back to the others now, and wake them up; and tell them you have seen me again; and that you must all get up at once and follow me—what will happen? There is only one way of finding out.”
So why am I telling you this story?
Because I am Lucy, and this is me finding out what will happen…
I am LGBTQ affirming.
It began years ago, when I started listening to the stories of those who were faithfully LGBTQ. I grieved over the pain they experienced at the hands of the Church. I saw their deep love for God and their profound faith despite the Church’s efforts to exclude them. I heard their desire for community and companionship even though the Church limited and prohibited relationships. And much to my surprise, in spite of everything the Church told me, I saw God there. I had been taught that God could never show up in a place like that, but there He was, plain as day before me.
But instead of following God, I reluctantly followed the course that the Church set—a seemingly reasonable path based on past tradition, but one that was leading us astray. I submitted to the majority vote cast by the Church—the belief held by the elders who asserted that one could not be both gay (or gay-affirming) and Christian. I tried to stay together for the sake of “unity,” occasionally voicing my dissent. But I was just little ol’ Lucy, and it was Peter and Susan who had more maturity, experience, and authority to make the calls.
Then… God had a little heart to heart with me.
And I now know what I have to do.
I have to follow Him, even if it means leaving my brothers and sisters behind. I have to be willing to part with the Church so that I can stand with those whom she persistently rejects, but whom Christ radically welcomes.
Some might label me
or downright “naughty,” as Susan said of Lucy.
But now more than ever, I am compelled to follow God rather than man.
I could just sneak away and leave while everyone’s sleeping. It would be easier. But I can no longer quietly dissent.
No, like Lucy, I’ve been tasked to wake everybody up and call you to join me in embracing, welcoming and affirming LGBTQ people.
Join me in saying “No” to beliefs that only bring about
Join me in saying “Yes” to beliefs that offer
“God is there! Can you see him?”
I will go alone, if I have to, but I do hope you will come with me.
It may seem reckless at first, following after something you can’t see. But pretty soon, like Edmund, you’ll catch glimpses of His shadow—proof that you’re on the right path.
There may be times when it looks like He’s leading you off a cliff. But then you’ll find that what appears to be complete folly is, in fact, the only path across.
The way that seemed utterly apostate in the beginning will end up being the only way to reach the Stone Table—a picture of the cross of Christ.
where every dividing wall is demolished,
where all are invited into His presence,
where those who were far off are brought near.
That’s where I’m headed.
I’m following Aslan. Will you join me?