So, Marti wrote a fairy tale in anticipation of the birth of our first grandchild, and we are talking about it in the Catch this week. And just what do fairy tales have to do with truth and the lives we are attempting to lead in following Christ? Everything.
Fairy tales are harbingers of the gospel.
We wouldn’t appreciate fairy tales if we weren’t already wired for the gospel. Indeed, the gospel is one grand fairy tale coming true every day. The prince did slay the dragon. The princess was rescued from the tower. There will be a huge wedding, and we all will live happily ever after. Any questions?
Fairy tales are outlandish. And the gospel — God’s grace toward us — is as outlandish as any fairy tale. And we might not as readily believe the outlandishness of the gospel if we hadn’t been set up by fairy tales that what we wish could come true. Well, in Christ, it does. Everything that we hope for, wish for, and dream for is coming true in Christ Jesus. We are living a fairy tale right now. If the Bible says that we have, living inside us, someone who can “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,” that sounds pretty much like a fairy tale to me. (Ephesians 3:20)
Steve West pointed out in our blogtalkradio interview last night that Picasso called art, “The lie that tells the truth.” Fairy tales are made-up stories that give us a new slant on truth. They come at truth sideways. They allow us to embrace our hopes and dreams in ways that might otherwise embarrass us, or cause our logical minds to talk us out of believing. But, in a fairy tale, we allow ourselves to be caught up in the magic, and Cinderella has her dream come true one more time.
In The Pigeon with the Ruby Collar, a young prince and princess become fast childhood friends. When the prince has to return to his castle which is far away, they train a carrier pigeon to be a messenger between them; and, to signify it is a royal pigeon, they affix a ruby the princess wore as a child to the pigeon’s collar. Then war and upheaval imprisons them both in their respective castles, and the pigeon flies desperately back and forth between them, unable to reach either one. When a hunter shoots down the pigeon, all appears lost, except that the hunter, seeing the ruby collar and realizing it is a royal messenger, nurses the pigeon back to health, enabling it to reunite the two when peace returns to the land. Of course there is much more than this to the story, but I’ll let you read it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
Which is the final point to make about fairy tales: There isn’t a “right” interpretation of a fairy tale. Different people come up with different things, and, as is so often with truth, all of them are probably right.