BEYOND THE EDGE

“How far are we from the edge?” she asked me.

“What edge?” I said.

“The edge of the earth.”

“There isn’t an edge, it just goes on and on and around and around forever,” I replied.

She paused and thought for a while. I could tell she was thinking because her forehead was wrinkled and her head was tilted to the left and her eyes were studying the clouds above us. Finally she said, “well I wish there was an edge, cause I would jump off it.”

I thought this was a wonderful thing to say. I imagined a cliff that leads to nowhere, just down into nothingness, and I wondered if I would jump. Then I remembered that scene in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, where Reepicheep, that small but noble mouse, sailed to the edge of the sea just to see where it led. This is the very essence of adventure, I think. It all starts with an idea that defies logic, that goes against science or math, that insults the enlightened man, but that captures the mind in a way that no concept or number could, and it sparks the most incredible adventure. And what is life without adventure? 

I think following God is an adventure. Maybe that’s my favorite part of being a Christian, is that sense that I’ll never have it all figured out, that I’ll always be left with questions. For some people that might be frustrating, and it is for me too sometimes, but then I think about the edge of the world, and maybe God is beyond that cliff. Maybe that’s what heaven is, the place beyond the edge, and my whole life is leading up to that moment of death, when I finally make the leap.

Magic

I’ll never understand the magic of story, the power of words woven together to make something that didn’t exist before. It truly is one of the most miraculous things, and I think it’s a gift. The way you feel when you read something that moves you, the empathy you feel for the characters you know only by name on the page, the deep sorrow and awe you feel when you finish a book… it’s all so mysterious. 

I just read the last chapter of C.S. Lewis’s book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It’s one of my favorites. I am amazed not only by the words Lewis uses and the picture he paints, but by the feel of the chapter. When I read that chapter, I can’t help but feel sad and happy, dread and hope. It’s a chapter that tears you apart and puts you back together in seven short pages. I read it slow and fast at the same time, hoping it will never end yet wishing to read the final sentence. This chapter makes me worship. No joke, I am holding back tears as I write this, thinking about the glory of God, who created story and language and art and beauty and asks us not to hold these things back, but to express them and to help others express them. And isn’t that the job of the storyteller, to usher God’s children into His presence and show them how to bow before His throne?

This is a noble and sacred thing, to create, and I hope I never waste this gift.