There are certain books I have read probably 10+ times, and I am almost positive (since I'm only at the tender age of 31), that I shall probably read them at least 10+ more. There are my staple Austen's (Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion), my requisite children's literature (Ella Enchanted and Little Women), my life-changing biography (God's Smuggler), the staple Victorian chick-lit (Anne of Green Gables and anything by Angela Thirkell), and of course... the delicious "Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis, that I have read so many times, I can quote portions of them right along with the audiobooks.
One of my favorites scenes occurs in The Voyage of The Dawn Treader. A boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb (who was so awful, he almost deserved that name), has been transformed into a dragon. Incapable of changing himself back into a scrawny boy, he seems destined to live out the rest of his life on a forsaken island. One night, Aslan, the lion/Christ figure appears and takes him to a hidden spring. Eustace tries to get in to the bubbling, pure water, but is told first to "undress" from his dragon scales. He peels off his outer layer of scales. Once. Twice. A third time. But to no avail. His dragon coat remains impenetrable. Then, Aslan offers to help... “The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart.” recounts Eustace to his friends. Aslan proceeds to strip him, hurting him with a searing pain, and yet, Eustace says, it feels so good.
I'm in dragon stage right now. Sometimes, I'm legitimately a "dragon mommy." (I had a break down last week which involved me hyperventilating... to myself. Alone. In a toy room. While my family ate dinner. I'm not proud of that...) I have three small humans (and a not-so-small one in my uterus that is growing like gangbusters), who are the proverbial moral "blank slates." Every day is a battle. It's wrapped up in cuteness, but it's a battle. A battle for "please/thank you," a battle for obedience, a battle for thankfulness, attentiveness, politeness, kindness, and gentleness.
And my dragon skin is being ripped off, one layer at a time. I'm still a dragon. But my layers of scales are being peeled off. Bit, by painful bit. That's what I'm praying for, anyway. I don't want the hard days to leave me unchanged, or bitter, or with a handful of cute stories and nothing more. I want the brutal battle of motherhood to transform me.
But on the hard days... when I find a third puddle of urine, I've lost count of how many peanut butter sandwiches I've made, and we're having a 45 minute battle over wearing a sweatshirt (that yesterday was a favorite and today is apparently like acid touching the skin)... On those days, I dream about the day. The day when I shall see HIM. The one who will peel away every layer of dragon in one swift motion. I know that's what will happen.
Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (I John 3:2)
We are not now what we will be... we are humans disguised as dragons, but in one searing vision, in one swift glimpse of our Savior and our God, our dragon skin will be ripped completely off. And we shall be seen for who we were meant to be. And that, my friends, will make all the urine puddles and toddler battles worthwhile. Keep peeling that skin, my friend. Keep peeling.