Friday, June 8, 2018

Well Said: Holding up Scripture to the light and seeing the spray of refracted color

The reintroduction of fairy tales to my redeemed imagination helped me to see the Maker, his Word, and the abounding human (but sometimes Spirit-commandeered) tales as interconnected. It was like holding the intricate crystal of Scripture up to the light, seeing it lovely and complete, then discovering on the sidewalk a spray of refracted colors. The colors aren’t Scripture, nor are they the light behind it. Rather, they’re an expression of the truth, born of the light beyond, framed by the prism of revelation, and given expression on solid ground. My final days in college were spent studying the books of Ezekiel and James in class, writing song lyrics in the margins of my syllabi, and reading, at last, The Lord of the Rings, that exquisite spray of refracted light. ...

... Tolkien and Lewis, both in their own way, lifted me out of this world to show me a thundering beauty, and when I read the last sentence and came tumbling back to earth, I could still hear the peal. I hear it to this day.

God allowed the stories to lift the veil on the imaginary world to show me the real world behind it—which ended up being, in the end, the one I was already in. Tolkien and Lewis held the fabric of Narnia or Middle-earth in one hand and clutched ours in the other, building a bridge so we could set out for perilous realms and return safely with some of the beauty we found there. The ache we feel when we read about Frodo’s voyage from the Grey Havens, the ache we feel when Lucy hears the thump of solid wood at the back of the wardrobe is telling us that yes, there’s another world. But the stories that awaken us are meant to awaken us not only to the reality to come but to this world and its expectant glory.

Yes, yes, yes.

As I've said, and tried to lure you into these three days, do go read it all. Even if you don't thrill to fantasy or reading, there is some part of your world which God uses to draw you closer, to enrich the world you inhabit right now. It's a beautiful way to live and this piece articulates it so well.

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