J. K Rowling, in the final installment of her Harry Potter book series, writes this quote,
“We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.”
So rich are these words and so true to the frequent struggles we face as imperfect humans.
In C. S. Lewis's beloved series, the Chronicles of Narnia, we see one character who consistently struggles with the dark that is naturally in her and the light that is given freely to her.
Susan Pevensie, (i.e Queen Susan) was a gentle spirit who was skilled in archery and fair beyond her years. She is the eldest daughter of the 4 Pevensie children that ventured into Narnia first from the Wardrobe. She was considered the more logical of her sibling rulers by her subjects. She was deemed Gentle and stubborn which aided her greatly once she had made her decisions.
But to those of us who have read the Narnia book series, it is evident that Susan struggled more than any other Daughter of Eve with what to place her faith in. In reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, one can pick up upon her courtships within the Golden Age of her reign. This is expounded upon further in The Horse and his Boy. In this installment of the Narnian series that takes place during the Golden Age of the Pevensie children's reign, we see her weighing the marriage proposal for Rabadash of Calormene. Upon learning of his cruelty, she musters her stubborn air and with her brother plans to depart the city privately.
Susan embodies at times a vain spirit. One that is focused on her success and looks. She is consistently seen putting her faith in and making judgement of things she can see and touch.
She spent a lot of her time in disbelief that the things she was experiencing in Narnia were actually real. She doubted her sister Lucy when she had entered the wardrobe. She doubted her again when Aslan, invisible to her, was leading them to the Howe.
This lack of belief led to her willingness to so easily give up her memories of Narnia after leaving for good at the end of Lewis's second book, Prince Caspian. From that point on we hear very little about Susan. In the final installment of the Narnia series we are told that all of Susan's relatives have perished in a train wreck.
Susan is not heard of any more after this. Yet, i have always loved her character the most in this series. I suppose for me she embodied a similar spirit as mine. One who yearned for proof and tested the boundaries of the people and forces she encountered. One who was logical but thought provoking. Though she is mentioned as no longer a "friend of Narnia" in the last book, I have always thought there might be more to her story. Later in life I learned that Lewis himself agreed. Prior to his death, he was planning on writing another book, "Susan of Narnia".
But now I can only speculate. One thing I have learned as I have grown in faith is that God allows the tragedies in our life to be used to teach us a greater lesson. Restoration cannot be gained without pain. Susan was left off the train for a reason. If she had died on that train with her family, she would truly have no chance of entering into "Aslan's country". But since she was not on the train, one can hope that through this tragedy she will see with clarity that Narnia was no mere dream. I believe Lewis had thought of this as well.
"And I really believed it was Him (Aslan) tonight, when you woke us up. I mean, deep down inside. Or I could have, if I'd let myself."
Jordan Debbink is an author and advocate from Burlington, WI. He has spent the last 10 years working with nonprofits in many various roles but foremost as a innovator. He is the author of The Governors (c) 2014. He currently spends his time working with Pioneer Center for Human Services and the Racine Symphony Orchestra in their Development offices.