It's a Narnia kind of day!
"No one could deny the majesty of God the Creator after walking through this beautiful forest!"
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
What a privilege to worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ on Sunday morning! We attended a service at Parish of Dundela, St. Mark’s Church. This church was the home church of C. S. Lewis. His grandfather, Thomas Hamilton, was a rector of this church. We were welcomed by several of the people of the church and made to feel at home. As we were being seated, the bells began to peal! The beautiful sound of celebration. This service was a service of celebration and thanksgiving to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. It was a wonderful opportunity to be in town for this celebration. After the service, we were treated to tea and a tasty assortments of cakes and cookies.
Upon entering the building before the service began, I was in awe of the ornate architecture and colors provided by the stained glass windows, flooring, and ceiling structures; however, I had no idea that each corner, window, tile, and architectural form had a significant meaning. \We were given a tour of the church and learned about each part. One rarely looks down at the floor for important symbolism, but there were even details in the flooring at St. Mark’s. Upon entering the church, black chevron floor tiles were intentionally set at the back by the baptismal font to point to the front of the church. They were to connect the two most important sacraments, the baptism and Holy Communion. As one walked forward, the tiles changed to vibrant color at the front, pointing the way to the table of Holy Communion.
As we exited St. Mark’s, there was a vibrant red door. Our guide informed us that this was the door that C. S Lewis would have entered with his family every Sunday after church. Look closely at the door knob! Do you see it? The lion? Remind you of anything? Yes, this is said to be the inspiration for Aslan. After church, we went to see the Little Lea, the boyhood home of C. S. Lewis, and ate in the restaurant where he penned many of his writings. It is difficult to comprehend that I was walking in the places of the author of The Chronicles of Narnia. But the adventure (and the wonder) continued.
Welcome to Narnia! The middle photo is a picture of the entrance of Tollymore Forest Park. Our guide said that Lewis must have been describing Tollymore Forest when writing Narnia. It didn’t take us long to realize that we had entered a magical place. There was a somber feeling of awe as we slowly wandered through the paths of the forest. It was truly a magical place!
As a tourist, I was taking it in as fast as possible. My mind hurrying through the memories of the day, trying to put it all together, then pushing to move me to the schedule of the day. But, on the stroll back to the car, I felt something overtake me and urge me to pause, breathe, and reflect on the beauty. Immediately, I was to connected Thin Places (Balzer, 2007). “The early Christian Celts were profoundly aware of the presence of God all around them. They enjoyed thin places where the spiritual realm of the heavenlies seemed so close they could reach out and touch it” (p. 45). What a blessing it was for me to be able to experience thin places today. No one could deny the majesty of God the Creator after walking through this beautiful forest!
Enjoying the journey,