‘I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can, even if there isn’t any Narnia.’ (C.S Lewis)
I will make no secret of it, I love the Chronicles of Narnia- not just ‘the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, all the books. Now, I’m sure you’re interested as to how I’m going to link this quote to the Northern Ireland Assembly election results but stay with me. This quote is taken from Book 4- The Silver Chair, for those of you who haven’t read it, (or it’s been a really long time since you read it), let me contextualise it. At this point in the story, the villain (the witch) is trying to convince the characters that Aslan and Narnia never existed. That Narnia was fictional; something that they imagined or longed for, something that would never, could never exist.
Now that the dust has settled on the election, maybe that’s how you feel? Maybe the Party that you voted for, the party that you wanted to lead Northern Ireland has been defeated? Maybe you are fearful for the future, what will happen with politics now in Northern Ireland, what is going to happen with the CARE issues? What’s going to happen with Christian values in Northern Ireland? How are they going to fit into this new political landscape- especially now if we have a more liberal government in the First Minister seat. Maybe you feel like the characters in the story, the future you wanted for Northern Ireland that you have been waiting for, praying for doesn’t exist. It never existed and now more than ever it feels like it will never exist.
This brings us to this wonderful point in the story where Puddleglum stands up to the witch and declares, ‘I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.’ This is a defiant act of bravery. He is prepared to stand for what is right and for the world that he wants to see exist. I think a similar challenge exists for us in that we are called to be salt and light and to live in a God glorifying way, regardless of the government that is elected.
We live within earthly constructs, under the authority of earthly governments but are called to be active and effective Christians despite them. This means that we continue to pursue Godly laws, we continue advocate for a society that we aspire to live in-one that has God at the centre. This is not always going to be easy- like Puddleglum we might have to take a bold stance even when its uncomfortable. We are called to be true servants and we serve a God who is greater than elected governments and even Kings. This calling and our God ordained mandate remains, regardless of who is elected to Stormont. Let’s pray for this new government, that God’s Will will be done through them and let’s live like Narnians! //Rebecca Stevenson (CARE NI Policy Officer).