May 4, 2014

May the Fourth Be With You Always

Happy May the Fourth, friends!

In true celebratory fashion, hubby and I watched Star Wars IV this afternoon. I ranted and raved when Han shot first (I grew up on the originals, these "new" ones just aren't the same). I chided Luke for flirting with his sister and Leah for kissing her brother ("Would you quit that already?!") I cheered when the Death Star blew up. My feet danced to the triumphant music that plays when Han and Luke get their medals. It was a good day. It is a great story.

And I may or may not have popped onto Etsy when it was all over to purchase green light saber earrings. I'll never tell (though you may catch me wearing them in 5-7 business days).

Been thinking a lot about stories lately. Hubs and I started officially writing a novel together a few months ago and dinner time conversations often revolve around the hypothetical political climate of a hypothetical country and whether the main character knows how to use a broad sword. We are story-tellers, the two of us. We love telling them, reading them, watching them. And at the end of a long day, when the world has beat upon us and offered nothing but toil and pain and stress, nothing breathes life back into us like stories.

Story-telling came up at church today. Our small group just started a study on making God real to your children. This morning, we talked about moments in our personal walks when we knew that God loved us. Dialogue flew back and forth between us as we shared our experiences. Somewhere in the discussion, someone brought up sharing them with our children. Our personal experience of God can help shape their perceptions and their young faith, too. Let them know they are not alone. Let them know that God is real. But we have to tell them. Stories aren't stories until they're shared.

As small group so often does, it sparked a lengthly conversation between Jay and I on the way home. We believe in the "deep magic" of the universe, as C. S. Lewis puts it: that truth, real Truth, will always be revealed, no matter one's race, religion, or occupation. God is so fundamental to our existence, that pieces of Him bleed through all aspects of creation. Including art. Jay talked about a moment of pure Truth he discovered in an episode of House, concerning faith and belief. I recently read through the Divergent books, where the author (quite accurately) portrays forgiveness as a messy, painful business.

Stories aren't just for entertaining. They teach us about ourselves. They give us hope. They grant us courage. G. K. Chesterton said it best. "Fairy tales are more than true," he says. "Not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

That's why fairy tales, Luke Skywalker, and Frodo are so important. They teach us that the world isn't a safe, fair, happy place. But they also teach us that beauty and good exist, that trying is better than doing nothing, and that evil can be defeated.

We need these affirmations. We need these reminders. Because in this world, where we live and do battle every day, it's easy to become jaded.

"Gallifrey burns no more, Doctor." -- Dr. Who

"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." -- Galadriel

"Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth." -- Madeleine L'Engle

Happy Star Wars Day!!!