ACW

ACW

Friday, 4 March 2016

From Nothing to Narnia by Ruth Clemence


It is a delight to read the words of authors who transport us magically out of our world and into another. Absorbed by the characters and settings that come alive from the page, we can let go momentarily from the day to day happenings of life and just be with our thoughts. We can get lost for hours tucked into a universe created entirely from the imagination of a pioneering or seasoned writer.

I have recently revisited the Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series by C.S. Lewis, and I have found myself captivated by the creation of Narnia in The Magician’s Nephew. When Aslan the Lion opens its mouth in song, the stars, sun, grass, valleys and the whole of Narnia comes into existence.

It got me thinking about the creation of the world where God ‘spoke’ and it came to be. Believing that God could speak the universe into being may seem hard to comprehend; some would argue that it may even sound imaginary. I wonder if we can become too familiar with the creation story in the bible to the point that it doesn’t really move us.

But what if those first three words at the very start of the bible ‘in the beginning’ made us feel lost in wonder or left us with a sense of expectancy for our great God? Could we let our imagination take us to the beginning of time, when God spoke the world and all its beauty into reality? Reading how Aslan the Lion created the land of Narnia through song made me feel expectant, hopeful and amazed as I turned the pages. Could I say the same about the Creator God and the works of His hands?

The Chronicles of Narnia have become classics in English Literature. Deservedly so as the writer himself was a tutor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University. However, it was by knowing Jesus Christ that Lewis could write so convincingly about Narnia. God’s Word provided a solid foundation for the Narnia books that we treasure. C.S. Lewis professed a faith in Christ that was evident in the way that he portrayed Aslan – the Christ of Narnia.

As writers ourselves we like to create, and perhaps like Lewis we can imagine a whole fantasy world with endless possibilities and adventure. We create because God created us. Writing gives us the freedom to let loose and tell the story that we want to tell. In the midst of our creative bursts, we should remember God’s story. It is His story that grounds us firmly in our world, shaping our experiences and understanding of everyday life.

We are inspired, surprised and moved to write about this world of ours, but it is God who planted that creative seed in us from the beginning. May the Word of God dwell in us richly so that our own words will inspire, excite and encourage readers to get immersed in the greatest story ever told – from Genesis to Revelation.  


Ruth Clemence is a writer and blogger living in South West England. She has written for The War Cry, The Baptist Times and The Herald newspaper in Plymouth. A graduate in Geography with International Relations, she has swapped a map and compass for a pen and notebook to pursue that writer life. She is currently studying the NCTJ Diploma in Magazine Journalism via distance learning and is trying her hand at fiction when there is a spare moment. When she is not writing, she is either working at the hospital, being sociable somewhere or reading a good book (not necessarily in that order). 

Ruth's Blog: www.ruthclemence.com  

Ruth's Twitter: @ruth_the_writer 

11 comments:

  1. Yes, there's hardly anyone to compare with CS Lewis and especially Narnia. I like your point that 'We create because God created us.' Being made in His image, we reflect something of His character.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Viktor! C.S. Lewis is one of my favourite writers. I really enjoyed Alister McGrath's biography of Lewis, which talks more about his life and works! We have a glorious God!

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  2. I loved the Nania books. And I delight in the fantasy worlds that I have in my head - and have now been privileged to write down in the White Gates Adventures series. I am currently into the fourth book - and, sadly, I think it will have to be the last. You can have too much of a good thing - and it has been a good thing for me.
    Have you come across anything else in the style of Nania that I might have missed?

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    1. Have you read Destiny's Rebel by Philip S. Davies?

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    2. Hi Trevor! The White Gates Adventures series - sounds good! Have you published them or are they something that you have written for yourself? Would be good to check them out! I am not sure of something like Narnia - you may have read Lord of the Rings. I am writing my own fantasy/thriller at the moment, but I would also like to read more fantasy stories. But Narnia is indeed a classic!

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    3. Lord of the Rings is superb - it is nothing like Narnia, (except for the very close likeness of being founded in the Christian faith of it writer) though its author, JRR Tolkien, and CS Lewis, were close friends, and both taught Medieval English. LOTR is a very adult book (once it gets going), with enormous insight into some very deep stuff, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy and hasn't yet read it (the movie is nothing so profound - )

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  3. Lovely post. We are indeed made in the image of our creator and get a taste of His pleasure at the words and images we create on paper. Thanks for reminding us of this part of our calling :)

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    1. Hi Deborah! It is our calling and it feels great to know that God likes to create too - it is good! Thanks for commenting! :)

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  4. I really must get back to the Narnia books and re-read them. I don't think I've touched them since my early teens and they're due another look. And I wasn't a Christian when I read them the first time.

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    1. Yes, I am slowly working my way through them now and I have never read the complete set. I remember reading them with school, but it is a brilliant read whatever age or background you come from. C.S. Lewis is an excellent storyteller. Thank you for the comment Fran! :)

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  5. C. S. Lewis's insights are indeed profound. I've been a fan of his since 1965. For more CSL 'aha' moments, don't miss my blog on the 24th of the month.

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