My parents and I have been watching the BBC series “Merlin” as a family. Currently about to start Season 5, we have enjoyed the unique take on the Arthurian legend, the whimsical nature of the show, and the spiritual (yes, I said SPIRITUAL) truths these episodes have contained.
In all honesty, “Merlin”has made me reflect on life and think much deeper than any show I have watched in a long time. In between two episodes one evening, I presented a question for the three of us: “If you could be one mythical creature between a Dragon, a Unicorn, or a Phoenix, which one would you pick?” My dad picked a wise and majestic Dragon. My mom chose a pure-hearted and beautiful Unicorn. As for myself, I did not hesitate. A Phoenix is the mythical beast for me.
A Phoenix is a bird which at an appointed time will burst into flames and be re-born from the ashes. Since I can remember, my heart has been drawn to this imagery, this beautiful picture of redemption and renewal.
The truth is, we all want elements of our life to reborn, renewed, and redeemed. We want to be redeemed. We don’t want to end this life the same way we started it.
However, we miss the important first step. In order for a Phoenix to rise from the ashes, he has to burst into flames. In order for our lives to be redeemed and renewed, we too must burn.
Our pride has to burn. Our selfishness must become ash. Any unkindness, greed, impatience, or anger…these too must burst into flames. Much more painful even than this is when the good things we have planned must burn in order for the best things to rise.
Then, when there seems to be nothing beautiful left, when we are seemingly a pile of scorched feathers and flesh and our bones seem broken beneath the weight of it all, something beautiful occurs. Redemption.
His love knits us back together again, and we are stronger and more whole because of the fire. Our colors are more vibrant. Our hearts more assured. The beauty undeniable.