Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Life Isn't a Fairy Tale...Or Is It?

      When I first thought about starting this blog, I pondered for weeks about what to name it.  I went back and forth between several names, but I kept coming back to “fairy tales.”  And before you think I’m one of those ditsy Disney-obsessed women with movie posters and Little Mermaid sheets, think again…  I’m most definitely not.  But what I am is someone who has a strong sense of justice.  I always have.  I can’t stand unfairness, ineffectiveness, or things that aren’t logical.  Something within me is always trying to make things right…to make things make sense.  I have always been extremely saddened and even infuriated by how people’s immoral and selfish choices negatively affect their lives and families and how sin has caused our world to become so very broken.  So, I suppose it only makes sense that I am enamored with fairy tales.  Fairy tales stand for everything that is good, right, true, and pure in this world….much like the words spoken in Phillipians 4:8,

      “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”  

     So.... I was pondering about fairy tales and their importance to culture, literature, and life, I picked up my laptop, and I just started writing….and the words kept flowing.  So the following is my little “essay” that explains my view fairy tales and how I believe they can truly inspire us to live on purpose with truth, morality, and purity.. and more importantly give us a deeper understanding of God:

   What is it about fairy tales that are so incredibly captivating?  Since childhood, I have always been drawn to fairy tale stories, and even today I find myself wrapped up in them whenever I read them to my first graders.  Fairy tales are truly one genre of literature which have stood the test of time, and I think I have figured out why.  Not so long ago, I heard a lot of talk about how fairy tales were “dangerous” stories that exposed children to evil things that they shouldn’t see or hear about such as witches and dragons, and how fairy tales had unrealistic plots that gave children false expectations and hope about life and love. I, however, see Fairy Tales from exactly the opposite perspective.  I truly believe that fairy tales have unparalleled spiritual symbolism, and resonate with something much deeper within us…something that is woven into the very framework of our own human experience.  Not only do they serve as a vehicle for teaching us about morality, love, honor, courage, sacrifice, hard work, and justice, but I see Fairy Tales as portraying the same battle that we face today as Christians in the world – a spiritual battle against Good and Evil.  And guess what?  In every single fairy tale story, Good always wins over Evil!  “But that is unrealistic!” one might say.  “Good doesn’t always win over Evil in real life….”  Well, actually……as a matter of fact, it does.  (In the words of my pastor, Perry Noble, “If it’s not good, God’s not done!”) Good has already won in this world, because our Lord and Savior has already paid the ultimate price for our sins.  We are already saved!!  The war against Good and Evil is already won.  But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t numerous battles still to be fought.  The Evil One continues to engage us in spiritual warfare, pulling the strings of our hearts away from God and towards the ways of the world through all means necessary.  But while we are still fighting battles with Satan, we shouldn’t fear him or his stronghold over this world, because if the Lord is within us, we are protected and our war is already won.
    In the words of the Christian singer, Christ August in his song "Battle," 

 There’s a battle between good and evil
And it’s raging inside of me
There’s a struggle - it’s God and the devil
It’s Love against the Enemy...

Life’s a fight of wrong and right
That’s tearing me apart
Oh but what the cross has done
Yeah the world will try to battle for my heart
But the war is already won

Here is me and my Groom and our first married kiss!
Some of the most loved Fairy Tales are ones that portray a female character who has been oppressed and a male character who comes to save/awaken her (usually with true love’s kiss, of course).  While many feminists might interpret that as a portrayal of women as the weaker, inferior gender, I see that as perfect symbolism of Christ (the Bridegroom) coming to save/awaken the Church (the Bride). Aren't we as the Church awaiting the Savior's coming just like a beautiful princess in a fairy tale awaits her handsome prince?

      One must remember that fairy tales aren’t always about wonderful, beautiful, and perfect things.  If there was ever a genre of literature to portray all of the horrible things of life - injustice, oppression, cruelty, hatred, jealousy, etc. – it is Fairy Tales.  So, in a way, the struggles and terrible things that the fairy tale characters face are some of the very same ones we face in today’s world.  Think about Cinderella, for example. She was basically a slave in her own home, treated cruelly and unfairly and made to work long hours in deplorable conditions without so much as a thank you.  However, she continued to do the right thing by treating her stepmother and stepsisters with kindness and respect and putting 100% effort into her work.  Her life was anything but a “fairy tale,” but in the end she met the one who could bring her out of the broken world she lived in and into the Kingdom.  I think the symbolism there is quite evident. 

     Part of the reason that human beings are never quite satisfied with this world is because we were never meant to be satisfied by this world.  This world isn’t our home.  It’s just a stopping place. We seek beauty and perfection in the things of this world and are drawn to stories like fairy tales, because we yearn for more.  We long, on either a conscious or subconscious level to be in Heaven with our Heavenly Father where we will finally experience true beauty, perfection, and our very own Happily Ever After.  

     So a brief not so brief summary (sorry!) why this blog is entitled "Finding Fairy Tales."  Through this blog, I want to share all the ways that I find beauty and purpose in this world as well as all the struggles.  And I hope that somewhere along the way you will find affirmation, encouragement, a good laugh...and maybe even learn a thing or two!