Chapter OneIn the darkness something was
happening at last. A voice had
begun to sing.
-THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW
, CHAPTER 8,
"THE FIGHT AT THE LAMP-POST"
* * *
It was pitch-black. Not one of the six could see a thing.
Frank, the Cabby, assumed they had accidentally fallen into
an open manhole over subway construction. A reasonable
guess, since the last thing he recalled was running down the
street chasing a tall woman in white who was atop his stolen
horse. There was some commotion involving two young
children and an older gentleman, and then sudden blackout.
Not a trace of light could be detected. Eyes open or shut
made no difference. They were enveloped by complete and
The children, Polly and Digory, had a different idea. Using
the magic rings to enter the Wood between the Worlds, they
had intended to get the White Witch back to her home, the
dreaded land of Charn. They hadn't intended to bring Uncle
Andrew, or the Cabby, or his horse. But anyone touching a
person wearing the rings magically goes along.
"Perhaps this is Charn," suggested Digory, thinking
they'd arrived in the middle of the night. But the Witch
knew better. It was not Charn. They had entered the wrong
pool, bringing them into an empty world-a world not yet
Uncle Andrew, the magician who got them into this mess
to begin with by meddling with dark arts and magic rings,
cowardly whispered to Digory that the two of them should
use the rings to return home at once, leaving the others behind.
Digory resisted, unwilling to abandon Polly or the
other innocent bystanders. As Andrew chastised the boy,
they were suddenly hushed.
Something was happening. The silent darkness had been
invaded by something, distant and slight at first, but gradually
rising. It was music, a lovely song performed by a singular
voice. Then other voices joined-as if beauty, strength,
and awe were approaching the frightened band to overtake
their stifling emptiness with vibrant life.
And then, on cue with the latter voices, the black sky exploded
with the blazing light of stars-performing in response
to and in harmony with the First Voice. After that,
colors emerged from the horizon, again following the melodic
instructions of the song, and a brilliant, newborn sun arose.
To Polly, Digory, and Frank, these were moments of pure
bliss, like diving into a cool, refreshing pool on a hot summer's
day. But to the Witch and Uncle Andrew, they were terrible-prompting
an ominous dread rather than an unspeakable
The chorus continued, spawning hills and valleys, rocks
and rivers-all bursting forth as if seedlings sprouting from
the garden of what would become a much larger world teeming
And then he appeared, the First Voice from whose mouth
the great song bellowed. It was a huge, shaggy Lion, facing
the sun and seeming to empower its illumination. He altered
the music, as if a new movement in a symphony had begun. It
had, inviting grass, trees, frogs, panthers, beavers, mice, birds,
Fauns, Dwarfs, and all forms of living creatures to blossom
Finally, to the shock and thrill of the watching children, the
great Lion spoke: "Narnia, awake." It was a command mixed
with invitation, the form of life receiving the breath of life. His
words were like a conductor's dropping baton. It was time for
the music he had placed before them to be performed.
* * *
"And it came to pass," begins the mythology behind
Tolkien's Middle-earth, "that Ilúvatar called together all the
Ainur and declared to them a mighty theme, unfolding to
them things greater and more wonderful than he had yet revealed.
. 'Of the theme that I have declared to you, I will
now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music
But I will sit and hearken, and be glad that through you great
beauty has been wakened into song.'"
Narnia is not the first world to begin with a creation song.
Decades before C. S. Lewis published his first Narnia tale,
close friend and spiritual mentor J. R. R. Tolkien penned The
Silmarillion, a creation myth for a world whose inhabitants
would be Hobbits, Elves, Wizards, and Dwarves. Both men
loved ancient mythology, created other worlds, and shared a
devotion to Christian faith. And both men drew inspiration
from the story of how our real world came into being as described
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of
the deep. (GENESIS 1:2)
Ours was once like the dark, unformed world into which
Digory, Polly, and the others fell. If it were possible to visit
and experience that place, you would feel much like those
falling into the wrong pool in the Wood between the
Worlds. Eyes open or shut, you would sense only a silent,
But everything would quickly change as you began to hear
the first notes of a distant, building song.
Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. (GENESIS 1:3)
Suddenly, as if switching on a lamp so that you could observe
the rest of the music coming to life, light would dispel
Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together
into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. (GENESIS 1:9)
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed,
and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind." . And God
saw that it was good. (GENESIS 1:11-12)
Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living
creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament
of the heavens." . Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living
creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the
earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. (GENESIS 1:20, 24)
In the yet incomplete world of Narnia, the great Lion
sang-and it was so. In our forming world, God spoke-and
it was so. No masterpiece can take shape without an artist.
No story can be told without an author. Nothing exists
but that which came from the brush and pen of God. He
composed the symphony others merely echo and painted the
portrait others reflect. He engineered the first architectural
structures, called mountains and trees; programmed the first
computer, called the brain; and invented the first miracle
drug, called the immune system. They all started in His
imagination, an imagination that has enabled our own.
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created
him; male and female He created them. (GENESIS 1:27)
We compose, paint, invent, write, and plan only because
He did it first. Or rather, because He spoke it first. God's
word, like Aslan's song, invited us into the miracle of
Creation-a creation that began with Him, is sustained by
Him, and will culminate in Him.
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be
glory forever. Amen. (ROMANS 11:36)
And that is the reason our world, and our lives, can be transformed
from pitch-darkness to glorious, life-giving light!
God spoke, or rather sang, our world into existence.