Not once did I suspect in all my sketching and reading and aching to enter the stories I read that Jesus was calling to me through them. Jesus was mostly an idea. There was church, the life I was supposed to long for, and then there was the life I actually longed for. You see, I was the victim of what I call, “imaginational segregation.” On one hand there was my compulsion to be a Christian—a cultural and familial paradigm that I happily ascribed to and had little reason to resist—and on the other I nurtured a mostly secret affection for what were, more or less, fairy tales. ...This is a really beautiful conversion story. Andrew Peterson found the world he longed for in fantasy, was called from it by God, and then, in that surprising way God has, was shown fantasy that pulled both together. Yes, of course, we're talking about J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
But that morning when I was nineteen on the hillside in East Tennessee, things were different. Life itself—the one I was actually living—for once outshone the life I had yearned for. The Maker of this beautiful, broken world ambushed me. He had lain in wait for the perfect moment to spring: the perfect song at the perfect hour of the day, the contrition of my hungry heart, the intricate staging of the beauty that had led me to that dewy lawn, and his holy, brooding spirit draped over the valley like a mist. “Drink,” he told me, “and thirst no more.”
I’m not saying this was my actual conversion, but it was a salient moment that perhaps marked the end of a season of struggle. When the shadows cast by my disappointment and self-hatred were banished by the light of the forgiveness, the acceptance, and the infinite affection of Christ, I could see the world around me for the miracle it was.
Andrew Peterson, The Integrated Imagination: Fantasy in the Real World
Do go read it all. It is a thrill for those of us who love books and then found Christ ... and then found Him again in the books we love so well. Via Brandywine Books.