Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Language about the Lion & the Lamb

A wonderful yet fearful scene in Charles Williams’ book The Place of the Lion occurs when one of the main characters, Quentin, is so terribly fearful of the powers that are invading the world that he flees from everyone. Another man, who has given himself over to the evil of dominating and manipulating others, as he turns into the animal that he is becoming, chases Quentin through forests and fields until he is soaked with blood, exhausted and blind.

Another main character Damaris goes seeking Quentin and finds him in the field in the midst of the endless pursuit. She also sees a lamb playing in the field and an eagle flying high in the sky.

“Willing to do all but uncertain what to do, she watched, and then became aware of some other thing in her line of vision. It was the solitary lamb that was gently moving towards her, gently and slowly. She looked at it, and across the meadow there passed suddenly the shadow of the flying eagle, cast over her and proceeding from her to the lamb. Moved by a quick hope she followed it; the beast, more slowly, advanced to meet her. They came together, and the innocence that sprang in her knew a greater innocence and harmlessness in it; she dropped to her knees, and put a hand on its back.”

Beside the lamb she keeps calling to Quentin until he comes and falls to the ground and she falls on top of him to protect him. And then the snarling wolf like creature that is still partly human circles and springs. Williams writes that “its hate and its power divided and passed around her.”

And then the wolf like creature comes to an end.

“The power of the Lion came upon him in a great wind, and the breath of his spirit fled to meet it. Strangled and twisted, he was lifted and carried on the wind; he was flung into the air and carelessly dropped back on to the earth. As he fell for that last time he saw the Lion upon him. The giant head loomed over him; the great paw struck his chest and thrust him down. Immense pressure enclosed and crushed him; in a dreadful pain he ceased to be.”
But what of Quentin?

Damaris “looked at Quentin; repose was coming back into his face, and with it that beauty of innocence which is seen in unhappy mankind only in sleep and death and love and transmuting sanctity—that place of the lamb in the place of the lion.”

Courage children of the Lamb and the Lion.

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