Easter, Aslan, and Ariad
Storytelling is a powerful thing. The most potent stories can make us feel emotion as vivid as everyday life, from boiling anger to bitter grief to overwhelming joy. A master storyteller knows how to appeal to our senses, our feelings, our hearts, but the best stories are still the ones that start with the best source—the truth.
There is no story better than the one we celebrate at this time of year, every year. The story of a God who loved a broken world so deeply He was willing to give His own son. Willing to walk in human flesh. Willing to suffer human pain. Willing to be mocked, outcast, humiliated. Willing to be hated by the people He loved.
The Easter account, the Gospel account, is the work of the ultimate Author. It is the ultimate tragedy, the ultimate triumph, the ultimate climax of all history and time. It transformed my life. Jesus cleansed me of my sin when he died on the cross and gave me victory when he conquered it. I am free from sin because of him, I can live each day in hope, I am a new creature because of this story and I am still feeling its power working in me every day. First and foremost, Jesus' story has transformed me.
But that's not all. Because of it, I have new inspiration.
C.S. Lewis knew what he was doing when he took the most powerful story in history and built his world around it. As a kid, Aslan's death and resurrection struck me in a very real way, aroused in me the anger and despair and joy that I wasn't old enough to recognize in Sunday School stories. In that way, Lewis' Narnia nudged me on a trajectory to Christ; if I was overwhelmed by a murky reflection, how could I help but fall in love with the glory, power and beauty of the real thing? Of Jesus?
That is the power of stories built upon a foundation of the Word, and that is what I was inspired to do in creating the world of Ariad. Kyrian's journey is in many ways a journey of redemption. He has lost sight of who he is, what he once believed in, and is running from mistakes, from sins, that he fears will define him forever. Like all of us, he's lost. Floundering in the dark. And like all of us there is only one person who can lift him into the light. In our world: Jesus. In Kyrian's world: Aradin, King of Ariad.
Building The Heir of Ariad upon the Exodus account has been an incredible experience, one that has brought Moses' journey to life in very vivid ways for me. But at the end of the day, the most powerful biblical account remains the story of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, and through the character of Aradin, God has inspired me to honour that fact. Ariad's history is bound up in the King who creates the world, rules it, and ultimately dies for it, a King whose love and sovereignty affect not only the story, but Kyrian as a character, myself as an author, and Lord willing, you as a reader.
It is my prayer that this book will point hearts to Christ the way Narnia once did mine.