Today is my son’s seventh birthday. He is at a wonderful age now, old enough to perceive the enormity of the world and everything there is to learn, and young enough to find the wonder in it all. I love to watch his excitement as he sees the leaves change color, as the evening star rises over the horizon, as a deer rubs the velvet from its horns outside his window. In watching him, I share in his joy of the world and recall my own sense of discovery.
It is in our nature to reach beyond ourselves, to question and wonder and search. I enjoy reading mind-expanding works, to finally wrap my mind around that abstract concept and experience that feeling of, “Oh, I get it now!” And for me, most of that discovery comes not from cumbersome nonfiction tomes, many of which fall short of inspiring or—dare I say it—even interesting, but from well-written speculative fiction. It is through these stories that I gain insight into the workings of the world and her people.
For example, I have been reading a series about a boy who became king, in a world beset by evil, and he is struggling to define the concepts of “right” and “wrong” with near infinite power at his fingertips. Looming monsters and magical attacks aside, this is not much different from what we face every day. I am queen of my little world, which is beset by the evils around us. Perhaps the character’s (and thus, the writer’s) insights into how to deal with such problems can help me? How much better would this story be if it included Christian insight?
Oddly, with so many people reaching out to find belief and inspiration in works of speculative fiction, many Christians speak against this venue. “It is evil,” they say, “because it speaks of magic, of unreality, of false gods.” And yet what are miracles to the unlearned, except a form of magic? What is unreality, but a reality yet to be discovered? And really, whose fault is it that false deities abound in fantasy and science fiction and horror? I’ll bet those darn evil false gods wouldn’t appear in oh, say, Christian speculative fiction.
In a universe of infinite possibility, it is important that we remember God is with us as we search for truth. He encourages us to “seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” How I love for Him to be with me as I read, both fiction and non, for inspiration and enlightenment. And perhaps, those who long for the lost joy of discovery will read stories from the “Lost Genre” and discover not just truth, but Truth.