“Is–is he a man?” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion–the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he–quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about being safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you.”
—The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe
“Lucy,” he said, “we must not lie here for long. You have work in hand, and much time has been lost today.”
“Yes, wasn’t it a shame?” said Lucy. “I saw you all right. They wouldn’t believe me. They’re all so–”
From somewhere deep inside Aslan’s body there came the faintest suggestion of a growl.
“I’m sorry,” said Lucy, who understood some of his moods. “I didn’t mean to start slanging the others. But it wasn’t my fault anyway, was it?”
The Lion looked straight into her eyes.
“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy. “You don’t mean it was? How could I–I couldn’t have left the others and come up to you alone, how could I? Don’t look at me like that…oh well, I suppose I could. Yes, and it wouldn’t have been alone, I know, not if I was with you. But what would have been the good?”
“Do you love Me enough to be able to trust Me completely, Much Afraid?”
She looked at Him in the usual startled fashion so natural to her whenever she sensed that He was preparing her for a new test, then faltered: “You know that I do love You, Shepherd, as much as my cold little heart is capable. You know that I love You and that I long to trust You as much as I love You, that I long both to love and trust You still more.”
“Would you be willing to trust Me,” he asked, “even if everything in the wide world seemed to say that I was deceiving you–indeed, that I had deceived you all along?”
…”I am a very great coward. I am afraid that the pain may cause me to try to resist you. Will you bind me to the altar in some way so that I cannot move? I would not like to be found struggling while the will of my Lord is done.”
…Still there was silence, a silence as of the grave, for indeed she was in the grave of her own hopes and still without the promised hinds’ feet, still outside the High Places with even the promise to be laid down on the altar. This was the place to which the long, heart-breaking journey had led her. Yet just once more before she laid it down on the altar, Much-Afraid repeated the glorious promise which had been the cause of her starting for the High Places. “The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine High Places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.” (Hab. 3:19)
—Hinds’ feet on high places