Just finished reading the Chronicles of Narnia series. And what a brilliant series they were! Full of wonder and enchantment anchored in our own reality. Lewis was a man of great literary gifts. However, one things stung me a bit toward the end of the book. And it wasn't something that Lewis wrote. It was something he didn't.
At the end of the story, three of the four Pevensee kids (Peter, Edmund and Lucy) are rushing toward Aslan's mountain. As they meet Aslan, they appear dejected because in the past, at the end of a story, Aslan sends the kids "home". However, this time Aslan surprises them: they won't be going "home". You see at the beginning of The Last Battle, the kids are sent into Narnia while they were on a train. Throughout the book, they are wondering how on earth they were brought into Narnia so spontaneously without being called or beckoned. Aslan reveals, that they had died in a train crash. Some of the kids felt a bang as they entered Narnia, but none guessed what really happened:
"There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother [who were in the train that collided with the kids' train] and all of you are - as you used to call it in the Shadowlands - dead.
Except not all of them were dead. Susan remained. She lived on and missed out. As Peter, her older brother said earlier in the story, she was no longer a friend of Narnia. Eustace explained that:
...whenever you've tried to get her to come and talk about Narnia or do anything about Narnia, she says, 'What wonderful memories you have! Fancy your still thinking about all those funny games we used to play when we were children.'
It stung me, because I have dear friends, that are almost like Susans to me. And I want more than anything else, for them to join me in the Real "real Narnia" enjoying all the wonders the Real Aslan will prepare for us.