We LOVE read-a-louds over here. I starting doing read-a-loud books to Tanner when she was like 4 and now it is like a tradition around here; super enriching for them (and me). We have great moments together; we talk, we laugh, we cry - it is definitely a part of homeschooling I have enjoyed more than I thought I would.
Over the summer we decided to start reading through the Chronicles of Narnia together. Now that there are a few Sapaughs old enough to appreciate the books it seemed like a good time, plus we could watch some of the movies as we go and that would make it fun too. I can't remember how many of the books in the series I read as a kid, I know not all of them, and I don't think I understood all the symbolism and stuff then. But over the years, I have come to learn about some of the themes and characters in the series; the parallelism between Aslan and Jesus being one of the biggest themes.
So, trying to be a good mom & not pass on the possible "teachable moment", I prepped the kids on these ideas so they could be listening for different the comparisons as we read.
So then we dive in. And as much as I think I am ready for what is gonna come in this children's book....we come close to the end of book 1 "The Magician's Nephew" and it was like WHOA! Mom can't read anymore because she needs to finish crying like a baby.
To give you a little back story. (trying to be brief here) A boy and girl, Digory and Polly, end up in a different world; a world just being created, a world overflowing with beauty and life and every good thing. This is Narnia. They meet the leader of Narnia in all his glory, a lion named Aslan. As little as Digory knows of Aslan at this point in the story, he still feels confident that if anyone can help his sick mother whom he left back in his human world, it is in fact, this majestic lion. As Aslan is busy creating and commencing and directing his new world into motion, Digory himself is being summoned for a task. But all he can think of is his mother and he is discouraged with the thought that he will never have the chance to be heard and plead his case for his mother. That is kinda where this section picks up... (minus the 11 chapters worth of other details leading up to this point)
"I asked, are you ready?" said the Lion.
"Yes," said Digory. He had had for a second some wild idea of saying "I'll try to help you if you'll promise to help my Mother," but he realized in time that the Lion was not at all the sort of person one could try to make bargains with. But when he had said "Yes," he thought of his Mother and he thought of the great hopes he had had, and how they were all dying away, and a lump camp in his throat and tears in his eyes, and he blurted out: "But please, please -- won't you -- can't you give me something that will cure Mother?"
Up til then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at his face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself."
WHOA. Hello God. Hello loving kindness that I don't deserve. I mean, don't miss this imagery here and the character of this Lion displayed, which is based on the character of OUR God. He is big, strong, intimidating, busy, yet - HE CARES. In all the big things, in all the small things; when we feel like He is too busy doing other things to worry about the details in our life; when we are too scared to look him in the face and wait til a moment of despair to cry out - IN ALL THAT - He Cares. In fact, He cares as much or more than we do.
In our struggles, our fears, our marriages, our disappointments, our loved one's health, our finances, our losses, our failures, our children's everything (the list can go on and on) He see us. He sees us when we ache to be seen and we feel like no one does. He hears us; not just when we cry out in despair, but all along.
I know it is just a fictional kid's book, but be encouraged friend wherever this day finds you. Whatever your hard is this day, this season - He sees you and He cares. Rest in that, and let Him meet you there.
And also read the Narnia series. Gah.