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Friday, October 16, 2009

The Truth about Fairy Tales

Fairy tales reflect more Truth than you might think.

What are the elements of a classic tale? A hero, a distressed damsel, a villain, some sort of peril, a battle, a victory, a romantic reunion, a happily ever after.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds sort of… familiar.

In his book, Epic, John Eldredge explains in depth that, “Life is story.” It’s not too difficult to make the connections – I’m the damsel, Satan is the villain, life is full of perils, and it always feels like a battle. The Bible says there’s a victory and also eternity, but will it be happily ever after? The details get fuzzy, especially when the fight’s still on.

The question I’d like to ask is – who’s the hero?

Don’t be too quick to answer.

The pious among us may be tempted to spout, “Of course, it’s Jesus!”

But do you really see Him that way?

Although the fairy tale hero is brave and strong and adventurous, he’s also tender, selfless and romantic. Jesus as demon/ogre slayer, easy. Jesus as romantic lover, not so much for some reason.

How would you read Cinderella differently if you inserted your name in for hers, and instead of Prince Charming, Jesus served as the hero?

What if Jesus’ face was behind the mask of Dread Pirate Roberts and you found yourself in the role of Princess Buttercup?

Let’s say you’re Lois Lane and the one wearing the tights and cape is Jesus!

Honestly, I’m not trying to be silly, disrespectful or blasphemous.

I’m trying to get you to picture Jesus as a Lover.

The Bible describes Him this way. Hosea and Gomer come to mind. Also, the Song of Solomon. Paul even charges men to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. (Eph. 5:25) Not in the “Do what I tell you, woman!” way, but in the self-sacrificing, romantic way.

The way of a Lover.

We don’t go there often if ever because of our culture’s distortion and perversion of the word lover and perhaps because of our own experience with earthly (non)lovers. Indeed it is an intimate concept. But we miss a huge aspect of the relationship Jesus offers if we ignore it.

It’s so easy to fantasize about Prince Charming and pine away for a human equivalent to ride in on his noble steed and whisk us away to a castle in the clouds. In strictly human terms, that just isn’t going to happen. But we believe it, or at least wish for it, sometimes with much more energy and passion than we use to face the physical, tangible world.

So why is it hard to believe the Reality, which is far more exciting, enchanting and rewarding?

Jesus, the Prince of Heaven, traveled across time, space, and dimension, altering the very fiber of His essence by clothing himself with flesh forever, suffered humiliation, harm and horrors even death, all for…

Me.

Yes, to battle the devil and conquer sin and vanquish death. He’s a warrior, absolutely.

But all of the warrior stuff paved the way for His ultimate purpose – to offer me a marriage proposal, one that I have the option of accepting or refusing.

Wo.

Since I’ve accepted, God gives me the seal of the Holy Spirit (I’ve even heard Him referred to as an engagement ring), betrothing me to Jesus. Preparations for our wedding are in progress as we speak just as I prepare myself to be His bride. (Rev.19:6-8)

Truly, that’s the stuff fairy tales are made of.

In the meantime, when I run away from the dance because I’m afraid He’ll see what I really am, He pursues me until He finds me, until the shoe fits.

He rescues me from the evil prince who pretends to love me but actually wants to use and murder me for his own diabolical purposes.

He swoops in, snatches me from the villain’s clutches, and takes me to His fortress of solitude.

Jesus loves me all the Prince Charmings ever written about rolled into One.

This explains why I love stories so much.

Every time I read something new, I search for an aspect of my Perfect Lover, a new way to see Him and the way He loves me.

Depending on the story, I may or may not find it. Let’s face it, some things are written to peddle lies about our Love. Fairy tales always have bad guys, and ours does too. That villain takes Truth and wraps it in deceitful concoctions cast to lure us from our Love. We must pick out moments in our favorite stories that reflect the character of Jesus as revealed in His love letter to us. The Bible is always our Standard.

Still, I look, everywhere. And so often, I’m pleasantly surprised.

Pretty soon, I’m going to share my thoughts on one of those surprises in a series called The Perfect Lover. (Be sure to tune in Oct. 26th to find out what I’m talking about!)

But first, I want to know, have you seen Jesus in the stories you’ve been reading (or writing, or watching in movies/TV)? Do you realize and have you accepted the amazing kind of love He is offering you? Can you see Him down on one knee asking for your hand?

If this is too outside your box, just try one thing - read John 3:16 with Prince Charming in mind, and then read Cinderella with Jesus in mind.

It may make an impression.

2 comments:

lynnrush said...

Right on, sister. Love your take on this. Very insightful. Looking forward to more, girl!

KM Wilsher said...

Lovely, sister/friend, lovely. I love John Eldridge and this was great. Thank you!