Thursday, July 7, 2011

Betrayal and the Heart

Have you ever been betrayed by someone very close (and perhaps even very dear) to you? It is one of the most horrendous experiences of life! It is such a violation of trust, love, integrity, commitment and a host of other things!
What to do in such a circumstance?!
I ponder as I wander though details of a betrayal from a friend that seems to have as many layers as an onion. Every layer reveals more and hurts more deeply. I cannot change what is done.
Remember the scene in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe when Edwin the betrayer returns to Aslan's camp from the witch's castle? Aslan appears and asks Edmund to take a walk with him. Lewis never tells us the words that passed between Edwin the betrayer and Aslan the "son of the Emperor-over-the-sea, the King above all High Kings." All we know is that Aslan forgives Edmund for his treachery and tells Peter, Susan and Lucy to forget because "there is no need to talk about what is past."
Edmund has a pretty dark past. His betrayal and treachery have grave consequences. Aslan dies on the Stone Table because of Edmund's betrayal. NO ONE denies what Edmund has done. No one taunts him with the past. It is in the silence of forgiveness that Edmund finds spiritual and emotional healing.
Betrayal is the greatest wrong that can be committed in the world that is Narnia. Betrayal is a HUGE wrong in the real world, too. The consequences for treachery are miraid. But in Narnia and the real world, traitors can only be redeemed by the sacrifices of others!
Betrayal is costly! Betrayal is often MOST costly to those who are betrayed.
In the story C.S. Lewis told Lucy asks Aslan, "Please – Aslan,can anything be done to save Edmund?"
"All shall be done," said Aslan. "But it may be harder than you think."
Then Lewis concludes that Lucy thinks Aslan looks "royal and strong and peaceful ... and sad as well."
Aslan is willing to make any sacrifice necessary to show mercy to Edmund, but that doesn't stop him from feeling sorry that such a sacrifice is necessary in the first place. Aslan himself sums it all up with his words: "... for when a willing victim who has committed no treachery, dies in a traitor's stead, the stone table will crack and even death itself will turn backwards."
What God calls my heart to is forgiveness for the betrayer! Such forgiveness is costly but it is the only way of the heart who has found its own forgiveness!

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