My favorite childhood stories were, and still are, The Chronicles of Narnia. The central character of the stories is a talking lion named Aslan. One of the recurring themes throughout the series is that although Aslan is good, he isn’t a tame lion.
He’s wild you know. Not like a tame lion.
~Mr. Beaver, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Aslan is Lewis’s God figure in the series. Just like Aslan, the almighty God of the Bible is good, but He isn’t tame. He is the Creator, but also the Destroyer of the world. He is the Heavenly Father, and the Judge of all mankind. He is merciful, but also just. He is a rock of refuge, and the God of wrath. He is love, but He hates the wicked.
He is the conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, not a neutered, declawed house cat.
One of the most powerful passages in The Chronicles of Narnia takes place in The Silver Chair. Jill Poole finds herself lost in unfamiliar forest. She finds a stream, but just as she is about to drink, she bumps into a wild lion–Aslan!
The wood was so still that it was not difficult to decide where the sound was coming from. It grew clearer every moment and, sooner than she expected, she came to an open glade and saw the stream, bright as glass, running across the turf a stone’s throw away from her. But although the sight of the water made her feel ten times thirstier than before, she didn’t rush forward and drink. She stood as still as if she had been turned to stone, with her mouth wide open. And she had a very good reason; just on this side of the stream lay the lion.
It lay with its head raised and its two forepaws out in front of it, like the lions in Trafalgar Square. She knew at once it had seen her, for its eyes looked straight into hers for a moment and then turned away–as if it knew her quite well and didn’t think much of her.
“If I run away, it’ll be after me in a moment,” thought Jill. “And if I go on, I shall run straight into its mouth.” Anyway, she couldn’t have moved if she tried, and she couldn’t take her eyes off it. How long this lasted, she could not be sure; it seemed like hours. And the thirst became so bad that she almost felt she would not mind being eaten by the lion if she could be sure of getting a mouthful of water first.
“If you’re thirsty, you may drink.”
They were the first words she had heard since Scrubb had spoken to her on the edge of the cliff. For a second she stared here and there, wondering who had spoken. Then the voice said again, “If you are thirsty, come and drink,” and of course she remembered what Scrubb had said about animals talking in that other world, and realized it was the lion speaking. Anyway, she had seen its lips move this time, and the voice was not like a man’s. It was deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice. It did not make her less frightened than she had been before, but it made her frightened in rather a different way.
“Are you thirsty?” said the Lion.
“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink, ” said the Lion.
“May I–could I–would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
“Will you promise not to–do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
“Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.
“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.
“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”
“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.
It deeply saddens me that so many people today would rather have a tame house cat that can be managed instead of the wild and powerful Lion of Judah. They want a form of godliness without the power of God. In fact, you might say they don’t want a God at all. What they want is more like Santa Clause–a white-bearded, jolly fellow, who will give them whatever they want. How pedestrian. And we wonder why there is no holy fire, passion, or zeal in our churches!?
Let me tell you, that’s no god worth having, and it’s certainly no god that can save your soul from sin and death! There is one true God. He’s almighty, all knowing, omnipresent, imminent, transcendent, and not Santa Clause. He’s good, but not tame.