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living in a sacred cosmos: indonesia and the future of islam

A lion running around the world

When I was a little boy, my family took me on a trip to visit my uncle and aunt in Africa. They were both doctors, medical missionaries in Rwanda. We visited a game preserve where we watched lions, elephants and other wild animals from the precarious safety of our jeep. One night, my parents told me that the house we were sleeping in was right on the equator. I asked, “What is the equator?” My dad said it was an imaginary line running around the world. But what I heard him say was that it was “a lion running around the world!” That night, I couldn’t sleep. My eyes remained wide open as I imagined the lion running around our house all night. I didn’t think it was Aslan, but more likely the devil, waiting to devour me.