When the movie rendition of Prince Caspian came out a few years back, I was really grieved because they portrayed Peter as such a jerk at times! The writers of the script brought his character down to the current level of poor character so typical for our generation. In the process of doing so, they almost completely obliterated the noble character of Peter that C.S. Lewis intended us to see.
The thing that is most wrong with this, I think, is that it completely misses the point of C.S. Lewis’ stories: those who "company" with Aslan are deeply changed. This is especially true of those who walk with him as kings and queens. Yes, Lewis himself writes of Susan’s later abandonment of some of the Narnian principles, but not in the way portrayed by those who rewrote the Caspian story. One of the main points of the Narnia Chronicles is the noble character of those who learn to walk as Kings and Queens with Aslan, the King of Kings.
I have seen such true nobility in some of Jesus’ joint-heirs, those who will reign with Him and who walk with Him now as a Royal Priesthood. Yes, I actually know some of His royal brothers and sisters who really do live as He lived: confident but humble, richly generous and benevolent, noble of character and outlook, patient with the weak, and gracious with the broken. These people are in all walks of life, from the simple and weak to the powerful and highly sophisticated. Like their King, they don’t draw attention to themselves, but neither are they uncomfortable with greatness, should it come their way, because they recognize where true greatness comes from. Like their King, an air of peace, concern for others and nobility emanates from them like the fragrance of a heavenly rose.
I think right now of the true stories of some of Jesus' kings and queens of who died with dignity in experimental gas chambers in the prisons of North Korea, people who were at peace even as they sought to protect their children who died with them. I think of a friend’s meeting with humble, self-effacing Chinese men who were also powerful overseers of millions of underground house church believers. I think of a quiet but courageous woman who has faithfully poured out love to the children in the poorest neighborhood in Las Vegas for many, many years. I think of a businessman who leads with grace and kindness as God has prospered him beyond anything he ever dreamed. I think of how he carries himself with quiet humility, freely giving away large sums as God leads without anyone knowing. I think of Nick, now in Heaven, who was one of the humblest and meekest of men I have ever met. He quietly served my dad's family business as janitor for many years. Nick had a quiet but rock-solid faith in Jesus. As I think of his gentleness and meekness so many years after his passing, I realize that he also carried the mark of a King, a nobility of character and grace. I think of a humble, but courageous, man I met in Papua New Guinea who has raised the dead but speaks of it with joyful meekness. And I think of many more royal souls, some of them loud and outgoing, some of them quiet and almost invisible. My life is rich with many kings and queens who have spent their lives in fellowship with the King of Kings.
And it is this last thing, I think, that is the common thread in all of their lives and the reason that nobility hangs on them like a heavenly robe. Whereas some people may settle for a “get-out-of-hell free” ticket, for these remarkable souls “companying with their King” is the pulsating center of their lives. And in hanging out with their King, the fragrance of their King somehow has come permeate their lives. Make it so in me, in all of us, my King!
Hanging out with Royalty,
Tom, one of Abba's children