There is a part of me that loves fairy tales. Maybe there’s something to the feeling of power that comes in constructing an entirely new world, one that is different, and sometimes better, than my own. I don’t actually write fairy tales, but when I read them, I’m slowly building this new world sentence by sentence, as if I could just speak the words and the forest or cottage or carriage just materializes out of thin air. It’s fun feeling powerful.
There are times when I’ve thought Christianity was just a fairy tale. It’s embarrassing that I have these thoughts, and they actually come more often than you might suspect. I remember this one time when I brought my co-worker in the Air Force to an evangelistic skit on hell that was put on by my old church, and when I sat there and watched her watch this skit, I had a moment of pause where I wondered if we had just made up this whole notion of God.
In spite of these moments of doubt, I believe in God very deeply, and I even believe in Him superficially. I’ve grown up in this faith, and it’s really all I ever believed since I can remember believing in something. What’s interesting to me is all the things I take for granted: Jonah sitting in that fish, the parting of the Red Sea into two towering walls of water, Elijah running at 140 mph, God hovering over His people as a pillar of fire and smoke. And I’ve considered these stories to be strange but true facts, like Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. “What do you mean Jonah got swallowed by a fish?” people say. “What do you mean Neil Armstrong landed on the moon?” I think.
When I actually considered some of the things we Christians believe, and know, to be true, I get the sense that faith in God makes us a little different. And God would say the same thing. “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor 1:18).
Here is the wildest of all ideas that we believe, that this God who spoke into nothing, and nothing obeyed and became an eminently glorious something, came out of heaven to become a lowly man, a babe even, to live among such small creatures, to grow and learn and work like they did, to be murdered by them, to rise from the dead by His own power, and then to ascend back to heaven. This is the stuff of fairy tales.
And I agree, so long as fairy tales are true and the point of all existence.