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Faithful Fairy Tales

Faithful Fairy Tales

Our culture needs more than faithful pastors and theologians, we also need faithful fairy tales and writers. We need pastors and theologians to help us understand the depth and mystery within God’s Word. We need artists, filmmakers, and the writers of parables and fairy tales to create stories that inspire us afresh. We must avoid the trap of dismissing fairy tales and creativity as unimportant or unessential. As C.S. Lewis points out, in the pursuit of “growing up” we run the risk of losing something precious.

Dragons, Angels & Kings

It is a noble task to inspire our children with stories of dragons, angels and great kings. We need to foster their sense of wonder, and develop a hopeful vision in their hearts. After all, our story is about a great king who will stop at nothing to redeem us and help us to find our way back home to his majestic city.

If our God is the same yesterday, today and forever, why do we act as if He will not continue to surprise us? When did we learn we needed to grow up and put away such things?

How Did We Get Here?

It may be tragic, but isn’t some great conspiracy. Teenagers naturally long to prove they are adults and no longer kids. Parents naturally long for their children to become wise men and women. Somewhere along the way the child and the parent tacitly agree to focus on the serious, the practical, and the vocational life of these future adults.

Bit by bit, the wonder of fairy tales and biblical stories, along with the hope-infused world of miracles and angels is replaced by the utilitarian, and the 9 to 5. Whether our children become engineers or Imagineers, we dare not lose the proper sense of wonder that comes from fantasy.

“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown-up.”
– C.S. Lewis

A Serious Subject

Fairy tales are a serious subject. They are not devices used to distract children away from reality, but rather to help them understand the true nature of reality. No matter how fanciful or imaginative the stories may be, they play a critical role in the moral imagination of society. Fairy tales invite us to leave behind the familiar in order that we might refocus our eyes to finally see the truth that was there all along.

Every story written invites you on a journey. Every film says something about the nature of reality, the existence of God or the value of The True, The Good and The Beautiful. It may be overt. It may be subtle. But it is there, speaking to the audience about something that is true or something that is a lie.

Faith like a Child

The imagination of a child is endless. They don’t hesitate to imagine worlds of talking animals like those in Narnia. They don’t discredit stories because they have hobbits or dwarfs. They enter the story and as their imagination takes flight.

We have grown up in a culture that dismisses such stories as myth. But we know, as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien pointed out, all other myths point to the “True Myth,” which is the Gospel. Only there does the king truly save his people from death, and invite them to the grand wedding feast. All other stories are mere echoes of this one grand, true story.

Spiritual Maturity

We cannot grow up thinking we are more mature spiritually because we don’t read fairy tales or parables. We are losing something precious. But what is different? God has not changed. It is our perspective that has changed. Consider the encouragement of Madeleine L’engle,

“The artist, if he is not to forget how to listen, must retain the vision which includes angels and dragons and unicorns, and all the lovely creatures which our world would place out in a box marked Children only.”
– Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water

Take time today to listen carefully, to ask God to inspire you once again with His wonder, and remember the joy and fascination you felt as a kid when your imagination was rich and deep. You were never meant to lose that. So don’t!

God Still Inspires

God still inspires men and women like you, to foster the imagination of His people and to tell new stories that capture His love for His people.

He is still at work.
He is still speaking to our hearts.
He is still providing inspiration.

The question is if we have the eyes to see and ears to hear it. So pray today, asking God to give you a faith like a child, with eyes and ears to understand what He is doing afresh today. Consider how you might inspire a new generation with a fresh story which captures our imagination and points us to Christ.

Becoming Faithful Creatives Today

Consider these fantastical stories in the Bible, and how they filled your mind with wonder as a child:

1 Burning bushes that are never consumed.
2 A teenage girl giving birth to God’s son.
3 Grand dreams, and men and women who can interpret them.
4 The God of the universe speaking through a donkey.

Do you still believe He can speak through animals and speak to His people through Angels? (Or do you think God has no more surprises in store for His people)

My prayer for you is that you become as little children, in awe of all God has done. May you be filled with a sense of wonder today as your imagination is fueled by God himself.

An Invitation

I would love it if you would share your journey:

Does your art and creative work reflect this surprise and wonder of a child as you read Scripture?

What kind of art do you use to inspire others, so that they may see the world through the eyes of a child, and begin to encounter God in all his mysterious wonder?

Copyright © 2022 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

23 comments on “Faithful Fairy Tales”

  1. Leonardo Ramirez Reply

    Absolutely agree. My daughter and I still watch cartoons together, visit the arcade together and play silly impromptu games together. She was the one that prompted the story for a kids book series. Some years ago, I was sitting in my chair scribbling away when she walked down the stairs and said in her sweet voice, “Daddy, why don’t you write a story about a boy and girl who rescue their dad on another planet?” I looked down at what I had, crumpled it up and threw it away. That was how the steampunk kids book series, “The Jupiter Chronicles” was born.

  2. James E Clark Reply

    I’m an actor and a screenwriter. I’m currently finishing up a screenplay which has already earned a film festival award. While developing the concept I asked God for the ability to create a story that would emphasize our Lord and still be entertaining. Hence, The Greenhouse.

    THE GREENHOUSE
    Theme: Faith based/Pro life
    Genre: Dramatic Fantasy
    Logline:A celebrity LA abortionist grieving over the brutal murder of his pregnant daughter retreats to a rural area and raises plants in a greenhouse that are inhabited by the souls of babies he aborted, and they communicate with him.

    • Joel Pelsue Reply

      James, creative concept. It will be interesting to see the feedback you get from investors/studios.
      Thank you for taking time to share this.

  3. Don Miller Reply

    GREAT READ! As a very deep and honestly, intimidating, story incubates in the back of my mind, in fear that new hatchlings might awaken and aggravate their closest mother, I pray his living water continue to bring life to the ideas he has helped form by the truth of his Word and the undeniable power of his love in my life and the lives of others. But in it’s proper and due time. Keep up the great work, God bless!

  4. Susan Hilliker Reply

    Such a parallel to being in the greatest story ever told.
    How true that every day is an adventure with the Lord of the Universe at the center of it.
    He has written his story on our hearts and holds us in his embrace.
    Thanks so much for the encouragement and inspiration!
    Sue Hilliker

  5. James E Clark Reply

    Absolutely! The greatest story – “For God so loved the world…”
    Jim

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