Last night a friend of mine was telling me about a friend of his who has several tattoos. One on his forearm, another on his wrist, and one on his back, between his shoulder blades.
It’s a drawing of Aslan, the Christ character in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.
And this friend is not a Christian. He’s not a follower of Christ, yet he has a picture of Aslan tattoed on his back.
When I read The Chronicles of Narnia, I see God everywhere. He’s the hope in the frozen land of Narnia, Aslan who brings spring where it has always been winter. I hear echoes of my Savior in every word Aslan speaks. When Aslan allows himself to be mocked and shamed, his mane cut off, then allows himself to be killed, I sob. Because in the fiction, I recognize what God has done for me. When Lucy says “‘Yes, in our world too, a Stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world,” I find myself nodding in silent agreement, wiping a tear from my eye, knowing indeed that the gospel is bigger than I can ever imagine and changes everything. To me, The Chronicles of Narnia are filled with whispers of redemption, words and images that point to Christ the Messiah.
So why would someone who is not a Christian have Aslan tattooed on his back? Maybe he just really liked the movies.
Or maybe, somewhere deep inside of him, his heart is crying out, knowing at some level that he needs redemption. That he needs a Savior.
My working theory is that we all—on some level, one that we might not even recognize—know we need redemption. It’s why it’s the theme of most movies and when you boil the plots down to their most basic points, most novels. We want to be made new; we want the relationship that completes us; we want good to win and evil to be destroyed—because we know somehow, even if we don’t admit it, that the gospel is true.
And it’s true for every part of our lives.
The Story is true. Rest in it.