Wisdom From Puddleglum the Marshwiggle

“I don’t know rightly what you all mean by a world,” he said, talking like a man who hasn’t enough air. “But you can play that fiddle till your fingers drop off, and still you won’t make me forget Narnia; and the whole Overworld too. We’ll never see it again, I shouldn’t wonder. You may have blotted it out and turned it dark like this, for all I know. Nothing is more likely. But I know I was there once. I’ve seen the sky full of stars. I’ve seen the sun coming up out of the sea of a morning and sinking behind the mountains at night. And I’ve seen him up in the midday sky when I couldn’t look at him for brightness.”

I love this scene of Puddleglum in C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia: Silver Chair.” The Witch of the Underworld has cloaked Puddleglum and his friends in a “green fog” which, together with he “thrumming,” is muddling their thinking.  She is trying to make them think there is no such thing as Narnia. But Puddleglum fights hard and eventually breaks the spell after stepping on the fire, filling the air with the the smell of “burnt Marsh-wiggle, which is not at all an enchanting smell.”  The reason I like this so much is because it’s exactly what is happening to us in our day. We are TRULY under a spell of a different – but all too similar – sort.  And the god of this “underworld” wants us to believe there is no Heaven. No Hell. No God. No Creation. And further, that the “civilized” world is “normal.” Or that Baptist churches are “right.” And that other churches are “wrong.” And other such “lies du jour.”

Well, sorry, I’m with Puddleglum. No church I’ve been to is completely “right.” And none completely wrong.  And civilization is NOT “normal.”  Far from it.  And there IS a God. And a heaven. And a hell.

Thanks, Puddleglum, for the inspiration.

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