Eternal Echoes

One of my Facebook friends sent me a link to an interesting blog post titled, How Harry Potter Saved My Faith, with the following message:

This is a very interesting viewpoint (I had been told that Harry stories were blasphemous, but watched the movies anyway-*gasp*) thought this was an interesting testimony, wanted your opinion before I warp minds with it.

My opinion? My view of fairy tales/fantasy story is a bit warped. 

Throughout my childhood, I encountered people who thought Christians should never read fairy tales/fantasy stories–because they have evil things in them like witches and sorcerers. But I have always loved them. To me, the stories that people love most and which become classics are the stories that have what I call “eternal echoes.” They have themes and concepts like forgiveness, love, faithfuless, redemption, good and evil, etc., that ring with truth. ANY story can have an eternal echo, but fairy tales/fantasy stories like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Chronicles of Narnia, (and, yes, maybe even Harry Potter–gasp!) have particularly strong eternal echoes. Stories that don’t have such echoes usually are forgotten after a short time.

Every good fairy tale has a princess who is imprisoned or enchanted by an evil dragon, witch, ogre, or sorcerer. There’s always a prince (or poor young man who becomes a prince) who falls in love with the princess, and he always goes through great danger and sacrifice to slay the evil one and free the princess. He marries her, and he rides off into the sunset with her on his white horse, where they live happily ever after. Isn’t that OUR story? We are the princess imprisoned by the evil Dragon (Satan). Christ is the prince who fell in love with us, risked everything to fight the dragon to set us free. Christ even rides off into the sunset with us where we will live happily ever after. I don’t think the story of Christ is a fairy tale in the sense that it’s untrue, but I think people love fairy tales because deep down they know fairy tales are based on the TRUTH.

Not every fairy tale/fantasy has these themes so clearly, of course, but they all have some element of it, and the best fairy tale/fantasy have these themes quite strongly. They all have someone who fights the evil in some way, they often have a “chosen one.”

Here’s a true story about fairy tales: Several years ago, EJ, JJ, and I vacationed in Pennsylvania. We stayed at a beautiful Bed & Breakfast in Amish Country. While at the B&B, we met a family from Virginia. We ended up going to a restaurant with them. We talked about various things, and I mentioned my theory about fairy tales. The woman started to cry. She said she had always loved fairy tales as a child, but her family of origin was so dysfunctional that she thought, “Fairy tales are not true. There is no happily ever after. I will NEVER tell my children any fairy tales.” But when I told her our prince is Christ and we will have a happily ever after some day when we get to Heaven, she realized we live in a fairy tale. She cried, “Thank you so much! You have given me back my fairy tales.”

I told you I am warped. I believe I live in a fairy tale.

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