Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Time to Burn

This picture seems like quite a fitting bookmark for my blog, considering it is the 6 year anniversary of when I first started my Building or Burning Bridges Blog. The years have gone fast and the days have gone slow. There have been many bridges I have traveled--some have led to beautiful places, others have shown me where not to traverse again.

A time to build... and a time to burn.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Less like scars...

What the devil is Turkish Delight? Well, many may already know that it is is a confection made from starch and sugar. It is often flavored with rosewater or lemon. OK beyond the kitchen. What is the deal with Turkish Delight?
The below will illustrate further the context to which I am referring, and the place from which I am posting:
Turkish Delight ends up being the addictive confection to which Edmund Pevensie succumbs in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis.
Where do I begin with my thoughts on this?

Edmund Pevensie, while in Narnia he meets the White Witch, who plies him with treats (Turkish Delight) and smooth talk. Tempted by the White Witch’s promise of power and seemingly unending supplies of Turkish Delight, Edmund betrays his siblings, but eventually regrets his actions.
That is a pretty good place to start with where my thoughts are.
When I was young and did not wear nearly as many scars as I do now, I remember hearing that story for the first time and thinking “I cannot believe that Edmund totally betrayed his loved ones– all for some silly candy — Turkish Delight!”  Well, as with most everything else in my life, I should know better than to ascribe judgment to anyone or anything unless I have walked in that person’s shoes or experienced those circumstances.
Why is it that humans can be so easily led astray by things that look good, that taste good — that promise to fulfill us or fill our hungers? Why is it that we could so easily forget that there are others out there that love us and are counting on us — as we look away from them and look deeply into the eyes of what is in front of us wooing? I don’t know the answers to those questions. But I now know how easy all of those mistakes are to make — now that I am older and possess many more scars.
Does anyone else remember the part of the story with Edmund and the “White Witch”? His siblings tried to warn him. I think Edmund even called her another name other than “White Witch” — like a "queen." It didn’t seem like it was all that long before the sweet tones, open arms, warm blankets and fresh “Turkish Delight” offered by the Queen of the North (or White Witch) were all taken swiftly away from Edmund. Taken… just at the very moment that he wanted it so very badly! And not only that, but as I remember it — the delicious confections he had eaten eventually turned sour in his stomach and he felt very ill.
In the beginning, the confections of this world offered by those who seem lovely beckon so sweetly. “Come! Taste me! You will love me! You have never had anything like me!” And then, just as we get comfortable and accustomed to the receiving of such wooing and satisfaction? That is the very moment it is snatched from out of our hands. That is the very moment (metaphorically speaking) that the “Queen” becomes the “Witch.” And that is the very moment that whatever it was that we were taking into ourselves begins to turn sour within us and sicken us.
Not only that, as if that was not enough of a sad end to such a misadventure, but others that truly love us end up being hurt as well. It is not enough that we are humiliated because we fell for the oldest ruse in history — but also that people we love (and would never intentionally hurt) end up being hurt very much.
Poor Edmund goes through quite a time after this. Aslan does appear in order to rescue Edmund… but at a price. Those who are familiar with the story know the price exacted in this instance to redeem Edmund.
In the present day real-world realm, there is often a price to be paid for being led away from the ones we love as well. Why are these painful lessons so many times learned the hard way? I do not know the answer to that question. But I am grateful for redemption and grace, and I am grateful as time passes that the wounds look less like scars and more like character.