“Ooh,” said Susan, “I thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”
– The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
I’ve been thinking a lot about opposite concepts lately. The most recent is the title of this post: “Wild Love.” Stereotypically, love is thought to be as mushy as melted Valentine’s Day chocolate. It is sappy. It is safe.
But then I think of the excerpt at the top of this page. The four children find out that the one they are looking for in Narnia, the one they call “Aslan”, is a lion. The prospect of meeting a lion is scary and the two girls vocalize their concern. Then there is that final line: “‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.” This moment always gives me pause. Isn’t that which is good also safe? No, not always. Goodness should have a certain ferocity to it.
And this makes me think of God. He is not the God of two hour Sunday mornings with neat lines and inspirational sound bytes. He is not tame. He is fierce, frightening, challenging and ultimately good…but not safe.
Which brings me back to love. Why settle for its watered-down, marketable version? Perhaps because we think that is all there is. Maybe because safe love is simply easier. Perhaps the prospect of an uncontrollable force is far too scary. But wouldn’t that love, the one that is alive and uncontained, be worth the risk?
Let’s search for the love that gets our knees knocking, sets our bellies fluttering, this rambunctious love, wild and untamable.