I loved reading The Chronicles of Narnia series as a kid. One of the scenes that always captured my imagination is when the elusive Aslan appears at the White Witch’s castle and begins breathing on the various characters she had turned to stone. As Aslan breathes on each stone figure, the stone fades away, and each character returns to life!
In a recent prayer time, the image of Aslan breathing on the stone figures came to the surface again along with a line from the great old hymn, “Be Thou My Vision”:
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision…
I sensed God’s invitation to become more aware of God’s heart within me: soft, alive, expansive, receptive, and best of all capable of holding others’ hearts within mine as my heart is held within God’s.
I’m reminded of the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17:21-23:
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you’ve sent me and loved them
In the same way you’ve loved me. (The Message)
This is my prayer for myself and for each of you, fellow pilgrims, that God might breathe new life into each of us to soften and enliven the portions of our hearts that have turned to stone. As we become more fully aware of God’s presence within us, may we realize our capacity for moving into true community with one another–authentic community that catches the attention and captures the hearts of those who have not yet experienced God’s heart for them.
May Aslan breathe on the hardened places in each of us today, my friends, that our hearts may remain in the heart of God and expand to hold the hearts of others.