The beautiful woman spread her hand out above the fire, sprinkling something in it. Whatever it was, it released an intoxicating smell, which made all of the senses go drowsy. Her captives would soon forget their home, under the magic of her spell. When they had forgotten their true home, they would forever be a part of hers, slaves of her dark intentions.
Until one of he captives, whose name was Puddleglum, had an idea. He ran over to the fire and threw himself in it, crushing it beneath his bare feet. Though this action did not completely put out the fire, it did something else, which was even more important. It woke him up. Here are C. S. Lewis’ words in The Silver Chair, “The pain itself made Puddleglum’s head for a moment perfectly clear and he knew exactly what he really thought. There is nothing like a good shock of pain for dissolving certain kinds of magic.”
The pain of the fire woke him up from the magic spell of the witch.
Pain wakes us up from certain kinds of magic that this world uses on us. Puddleglum found clarity in the fire. Now, I am not saying that we ought to inflict pain on ourselves in order to think straight. We’re not to interpret this fairy tale like that. Rather, the fairy tale teaches us that even the unwelcome trials in our lives can be a source of immense good. They have a sobering effect, releasing us from something that’s more dangerous than physical pain.
What is more dangerous than physical pain? Forgetting.
Forgetting who we are is more damaging than any fire. Forgetting whose we are is even worse. Forgetting our true home is lethal. Forgetting our purpose, mission, and calling will kill us. Forgetting where we came from, who put us here, and where we are going, will wreck us. Never remembering the thing you are longing for, will throw you into despair.
What if we don’t know the answers to these questions? Then we are under the spell. The magic is having its effect on us.
The fiery trial you are experiencing right now might be just the thing you need. Yes, trials are bad. However, we gain great clarity in them. We see something we have never seen before; we realize something that we have long forgotten. We throw off the chains of indifference, apathy, laziness, and neglect. We learn what’s most important, what we have forgotten, and how to proceed.
Unfortunately, fire does irreparable damage; trials cause loss. But the thing that we gain will one day surpass the thing that we lost.