Fairy Tales

I offer here a brief fairy tale, which, like all great fairy tales, is even more wonderful because it is true.
on May 17, 2011 · No comments

Dr. Stephen Hawking on fairy tales:

I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.

C.S. Lewis on fairy tales:

When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

With the inspiration of these two distinguished British scholars in hand, I offer here a brief fairy tale, which, like all great fairy tales, is even more wonderful because it is true.

A Fairy Story for Those Who Are Afraid of the Dark

Once upon a time…

The earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.

…and they lived happily ever after.

Fred was born in Tacoma, Washington, but spent most of his formative years in California, where his parents pastored a couple of small churches. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1983, and spent 24 years in the Air Force as a bomber navigator, flight-test navigator, and military educator. He retired from the Air Force in 2007, and now works as a government contractor in eastern Kansas, providing computer simulation support for Army training.Fred has been married for 25 years to the girl who should have been his high school sweetheart, and has three kids, three dogs, and a mortgage. When he's not writing or reading, he enjoys running, hiking, birdwatching, stargazing, and playing around with computers.Writing has always been a big part of his life, but he kept it mostly private until a few years ago, when it occurred to him that if he was ever going to get published, he needed to get serious about it. Since then, he's written more than twenty short stories that have been published in a variety of print and online magazines, and a novel, The Muse, that debuted in November 2009 from Splashdown Books, which was a finalist for the 2010 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award for book of the year in the speculative genre. Speculative fiction is his first love, but he writes the occasional bit of non-fiction or poetry, just to keep things interesting.
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  1. I love this story … my favorite in the world, making me appreciate even more any story I read or see that reminds me of this one!

    Just yesterday I posted this excerpt from a nonfiction book I’d been reading:

    The Bible begins and ends with creation. It opens with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1), and it final great vision opens with the words, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1). The trouble is that some Christians seem to have Bibles that begin at Genesis 3 and end at Revelation 20. They know all about sin from the story of the fall, and they know that God has solved the sin problem through Christ, and that they will be safe on the great day of judgment. The story of creation for them is no more than a backdrop for the story of salvation, and the Bible’s grand climax speaks to them only of going to heaven when they die (even though the last chapters of the Bible say nothing about us going anywhere, but eagerly anticipate God’s coming here).

    But a Bible stripped of its beginning and ending will produce a concept of mission that is distorted in the same way. We will imagine that God’s only concern, and therefore ours too, is to save people from sin and judgment. Now of course, there can be no doubting that the Bible gives enormous attention to that issue, and no doubt also that it must be at the heart of our mission in God’s name. But it’s not the whole story. It’s not the whole story of the Bible, and it should not be the whole story of our mission.

    — Christopher Wright, from The Mission of God’s People (all boldface emphases added)

  2. This is the ultimate tale of hope. My upcoming release, the Land of Darkness, is a fairy tale all about this hope, based around Isaiah 53 and the mysterious “bridge” that links the mortal world with the heavenly kingdom.

    There’s nothing more thrilling than writing fairy tales that have their roots grounded in the true tale of salvation.

  3. Galadriel says:

    That is the greatest story ever told

  4. Kaci Hill says:

    Fred, I could hug you. I’m keeping a copy of this. 0=)

    • Fred Warren says:

      Thanks, Kaci. 🙂 It’s sad–here’s a man who’s lived a full life with ALS against all the odds and has a mind capable of working out the mechanics of the cosmos–from a wheelchair–but he has no room for God in his imagination.

      • Kaci Hill says:

        And that’s really it, Fred.

        I’m admittedly of the opposite framework; try as I might, I can’t comprehend a universe existing without someone having put it there. What makes me angry is not anything Hawking or anyone else might say but the level of deception they’ve endured. It’s like watching a victim who doesn’t realize they’ve been victimized.

What do you think?