Admittedly, Eustace was a prig.
But of all of the Narnia characters, he is my favorite. And not simply because he’s allowed me the opportunity to finally use the word “prig” in a post either.
No, of all the characters, Eustace is my favorite because he was transformed. And unlike Edmund, he did so without even the promise of a greater good to come in the process. There was no talk of a future crown or a greater glory for Eustace, but he saw the need, and transformed anyway.
He did so shortly after his old ways had turned him rather abruptly into a dragon.
Assuming you haven’t read the tale (and if not, you really should), Eustace found some dragon’s loot, and in stealing a piece, he in turn became a fire breather himself when he placed it upon his wrist. His new dragon arm was much thicker than the previous boyish version, and as a result the bewitched gold could not be removed. He was stuck. Forevermore to be cursed – and alone – with his new dragon persona. As so often happens in the Narnia tales, Aslan came along and – after a bit of earnest and deserved begging from Eustace – saved him by stripping all the dragon flesh from the boy. But only after first commanding the boy to do so himself several times instead (a task that the boy tries and ultimately fails at, in each and every instance).
Of all seven of the books in the Narnian Chronicles, this is the singular scene that spoke to me the most. So much so in fact, that several years ago I found myself beginning to pray that I too might have the good pleasure of having my scales removed. You see, I knew that who I was, wasn’t who I was. And I knew that there was something greater within – something more true, more inline with the creation that He envisioned when first He crafted me. Of course, much like the book, I imagined that there would be a moment of pain, a tear of the flesh causing a tear to the eye, and then I would be provided with great big (((Jesus hugs))) before bounding merrily upon my new and improved way.
None of that happened though.
What did happen was this. First I buried my father. And then my brother’s marriage. And then I heard that I would have to do the same with my marriage as well. And then the children, The Little Things, who were in our protection had to be removed from my care as a result. And then I lost daily contact with my own children, as they stayed with their mother while I moved out. And then (and this is no small matter to people who care) my cat died. And then, in early December, I found myself restructured rather abruptly (the 3rd, at 11:02 AM, to be precise) into the world of unemployment. And finally, that resulted in me losing my car, my family health insurance coverage and my financial security. Never mind any falsetto self-worth I had foolishly built up along the way based upon these superficial achievements. And that is where I am now.
And it dawns on me… All the scales have been removed.
All the dragon flesh has been stripped from me. I am raw, in tears, naked and pink. I received what I prayed for, I just never realized the immensity of what it was that I wished. I am sore, and scared, and at times feeling (though I know it’s not true) terribly alone. And although there have oft been times when I simply felt the urge to go to Sleep, I am filled with the promise of a wholly new being emerging. One who will be loved by those who love without condition or expectation. Finally, and for the first time in 44 years, a “me” that is one of my own making instead of others begs to come forth. A “me” that will hopefully come closer to fulfilling the beauty of the creation that He envisioned when first He crafted me.
Who Am I?
I’ve no idea.
But just between you, me and all these discarded, hard shorn and useless scales, I simply can not wait to finally find out.
This post was created in response to my Life as it stands, and to the prompt provided us by the beautiful people over at The Blogging Lounge.
I think you clearly are without scales and scars. I think you are blossoming and I also am excited to meet the new you. He never makes mistakes … so by all means live the life He gives you each and every day. Bless you.
t~ the flush of emotion that I felt as we rounded the corner into the last paragraph of your post, was bittersweet. You have always had a pair of wings so much brighter than the ones you used to tuck away, but it is truly a pleasure to watch you as you begin to fly. Stripped of the burden of what you are leaving behind, you have made room for the you that was there all along. Behind the “scales” there was always tender, pink flesh, but now you feel it, embrace it, and have faith in it all. As the darkness prevails, stars shine their brightest. Shine on m’Friend, and count me in as one of those who has always loved you… soul to soul.
Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
I wish you strength for the journey of self-discovery.
wow what a look here shake of reality…
we are who we are, whether we know it or not. but life gets better when you find out. no need to bandage the raw, pink skin. the sunshine will help it heal.
Troy, my hat’s off to you. Recognition of your transformation and brightly looking forward to the future is a rare thing for us fragile beings. I hope you find out who you are.
Oh I know how much the stripping of the scales hurts. It’s happened to me recently too, even though it, too, took me awhile to see. The scars I have from this, however, I wouldn’t trade for the world. They help remind me of what I’ve weathered, how far I’ve come, and just how very much He’s been there for me,and how very much I still need Him now, every day. They also remind me that He does have a purpose for me, even if I don’t see it all now. He’s constantly working in us and molding us, much like we are with our children. Sometimes we have to become like Job for the work to begin. I’m proud of you, my friend. You’ve fought a hard battle, and you’re winning.
Wow. Thank you for that powerful vulnerability. You’ve got my prayers.
You stay in my thoughts like the brother I never had. I like how you showed me your heart.
I hope you change your mind about blogging.
Well said my friend. Sucks though that loosing ones scales leaves one so raw.
I feel so honored that you would allow us to witness such a raw and emotional transformation. That takes true courage as a person and a writer. Thank you for sharing.
I am so proud of you. <3
I am so incredibly happy that you decided to join The Blogging Lounge with us. This was such a great post and so heartfelt and raw that you have earned my respect. I hope to read more of your writing in the group. Wonderful start. :D
The honesty and vulnerability here is breathtaking. Thank you for sharing in such a beautiful way. It is amazing how when parts of our life peel away, so much more follows and we do find ourselves raw and exposed. Best to you as you rebuild while you redefine yourself and what is true for you.
A very moving and honest post. I am sure you will now find the courage and energy to find the real ‘you’.
What a great post – Brutally honest. And these lines…
Who Am I?
I’ve no idea.
Wow. I hope 2014 turns out to be your best year ever. You are a strong writer with a great command of the pen.
I know that I normally like to return the favor to each comment with one of my own, but this time I would prefer to just thank all of you instead for your kind words. Rest assured, I haven’t done anything special, I simply finally figured out that bad doesn’t always beget bad. And in fact, He allows it to beget beautiful, if we’re smart enough to create that beauty when we’re given the chance. I’ve been given that chance, and I’d like to think that I’m going to run with it.
This was a tremendously moving post. Thank you for opening up so honestly. You are right to see that God always answers our prayers, but sometimes in the way we need rather than the way we want. I hope that now you will begin to be able to create the life that’s right for you. Blessings.
Wow – stripped indeed. I’m not sure I’d survive all that
dig deep…. i liked this. my husband has shed his scales as well, and trying to figure out who he is, what is the meaning of his being…..
Self-discovery is always painful, and what you find down in there, you may not always like. But we are all made up of both darkness and light, and neither can exist without the other. It’s learning to live with both sides that is the journey. Nice write, I haven’t read the Narnia books in years.
Nice to meet you Troy. This was a touching blog of true bravery to show yourself. Keep blogging. I think you have quite a bit more to say and I for one, look forward to reading about future episodes in your life as they unfold. I have a feeling the fire is about to be unleashed and your wings unfolded ready for flight my dragon friend. Great job.
Thank you all again – I really appreciate your willingness to share your own wisdom with me.
Taina, the wings have been unfurled, and even now the heated wind begins to build beneath them my dear =)
What a great post. Kelly Waite, one of our editors, brought you to our attention; would love to use this post in the upcoming issue of The Woven Tale Press. You can see recent issues here: http://thewoventalepress.net
I think we all have scales to shed, either good or bad….
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org referencing this post’s url. well done.
Thank you so much Sandra, and yes, I was thrilled when Kelly brought this to my attention! I did send you an email similar to what you’ve requested here, but I’ll send it again (from email@example.com), just in case the original ended up in a SPAM folder of some sort – please reply when you receive it – thanks!