Lessons in Serving Students Courageously from The Chronicles of Narnia

Lessons in Serving Students Courageously from The Chronicles of Narnia

“Courage, dear heart.”

This quote from C.S. Lewis’ book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (a part of The Chronicles of Narnia series) is easily one of my favorite reminders of what Christ asks of his followers. In this portion of the book, the characters went on a rescue mission and found themselves in complete darkness. The pitch black surrounded them and began embedding itself in their hearts and minds, causing the characters to mentally spiral about the unknown. As they are searching for a way out of the dark, Lucy Pevensie heard Aslan whisper to her, “Courage, dear heart.”

I am learning that courage doesn’t mean that you have a plan and possess all the answers; although that is usually the façade that I grasp in the unknown. Courage instead is the decision to continue forward. And as followers of Christ, I believe that faith in our Savior goes hand-in-hand with our ability to serve courageously.

In the Residence Life Office we encounter many unknowns in our interactions with students. Some interactions are simple conversations or services such as navigating roommate disagreements or providing laundry cards and room keys. But many of our encounters entail heavier life circumstances: policy violations that involve room searches and confiscation, students experiencing loss and grief, as well as residents whose mental health has suffered, who are as a result are wrestling with suicidal ideation and self-harm. Often when residence life professional staff are called into these situations, we have very little context but are asked to respond no matter the time of day. Serving courageously is a beautiful way to describe what Fresno Pacific offers to its students—a willingness to show up, be present and walk alongside our students in their journeys.

For those of you who haven’t read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Aslan didn’t lead the characters immediately into the light after revealing himself to them in the darkness. Instead, like Jesus, he accompanied them in the voyage.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG) says: “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”


Mandie Wall, M.A.

Director, Residence Life and Housing