Friday, April 25, 2008

Faith and Literature

George MacDonald (1824-1905)

George MacDonald has written some incredible books. Right now we are thoroughly enjoying our journey through The Princess and the Goblin, and especially some of the Biblical truths that it pictures. I have to admit that I loved this book from page one, when it encouraged all the little princesses listening that a princess isn't so much a princess because of her family, but rather because of who she is on the inside. This calls out to all the little Princesses, not just those born of royal blood, and he returns often to what a true princess looks like (honest, kind, gracious, etc.)

The Princess and the Goblin (Puffin Classics - the Essential Collection)

Throughout the book he brings in a character, the princess's Great Grandmother, who helps the young reader gain a fresh perspective on God. Obviously, the Bible builds our firm foundation of doctrine, but through well written books such as The Princess and the Goblin, God uses other people, authors, to draw us deeper into His character and persona. The Great Grandmother shows love and tenderness, complete peace to those who know her and come to her, protection and guidance, and appears foolish to those that do not see her. I enjoyed discussing with my children this well written piece of literature and how MacDonald has woven biblical truths into his story. It was exciting to see even my 6 year old jump out with another observation about how the Grandmother portrayed some of God's qualities.

We will finish the book next week, and probably move right into the sequel, but the phrase that jumped out at me today came from the Great Grandmother's lips. She said, "Seeing is not believing -- it is only seeing." Poor Princess Irene was terribly upset that her friend Curdie could not see the Great Grandmother, which we had all anticipated even as he followed Irene to meet her, and I thought again of the real life application of this simple story. How often we too speak of our Savior, and people just don't see. It seems so clear to me, yet they see my knowledge as foolishness and turn away. Irene's sorrow (although that of a fictional character) was a challenge to me not to be insensitive to their blindness. I too often write it off as another lost sinner, forgetting that I was once there myself. Unfortunately, in their seeing, they only see, they don't believe.

How many scientists look at the creation all around us and only see, but don't believe. So many others have followed their teaching, relying on only what they see. (I guess I also have this new movie on my brain that I hope to see -- Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed). How often each day, do I place more emphasis on what I see? A simple book of literature, and God speaks loud and clear.

I love homeschooling.

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