Fantasy Points Me Toward Heaven

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“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now.”

~C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

“There is a place called ‘heaven’ where the good here unfinished is completed; and where the stories unwritten, and the hopes unfulfilled, are continued. We may laugh together yet.”

~J.R.R. Tolkien

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Well, dear friends, we have come to the end of February once more. Thank you so much for joining me in this month-long celebration of fantasy fiction, I hope you had as much fun with it as I did. Last year, I finished up the celebration with a few thoughts and quotes about Happy Endings, and this year I would like to continue that vein and take it a little further. The reason I love the happy endings that fantasy often provides is because they remind me of the ultimate Happy Ending in store for Christians when Christ returns, when sin and Satan are ultimately defeated and are no more. I can appreciate a sad ending, but there are plenty of sad endings in life as it is. In general, I prefer it when a story points me towards the ultimate happy ending. When it whispers a reminder to me that, (in the words of one of my all-time favorite songs), “This is not the end, there is so much more: / streets of gold and silver shores…. / and peace.”

One of the biggest reasons I love reading fantasy is that the stories written within this genre remind me that this world is not my home. In them, I get to read about far-off, imaginary, completely amazing places that are not at all like Earth. Reading about Middle Earth and Narnia and Prydain and Hogwarts, and writing about Tellurae Aquaous and Aom-igh and Llycaelon… these places fill my soul with a deep longing for a place that cannot be found here on earth. A place that is home in a much deeper sense than I have ever experienced (and this is coming from someone whose homes have all be wonderful).

lamp-post-1367230-639x852As a child, I spent an inordinate amount of time attempting to imagine myself into Narnia. I looked everywhere: through secret doors, in hollow trees, around corners, in the woods, under my bed… but I never did actually find it. Not finding it hasn’t stopped me from looking, though. Whenever we stay anywhere new, I have this incurable and unquenchable desire to open up every door, every closet, and peek inside. Perhaps one day I will find fir trees and the distant light of a lamp-post peeking back at me.

Probably not.

But I keep looking.

The disappointment of not finding or discovering Narnia or being able to make my way there has stayed with me my entire life. It is an ache that can’t quite be assuaged. Now that I’m older, I understand that it wasn’t really “Narnia” I was looking for at all. It was Heaven. An altogether otherworldly, beautiful, perfect, dare I say “magical” place that cannot be recreated or enjoyed here on Earth, because Earth is fallen and Heaven is inherently the opposite of fallen. Fantasy reminds me that this world is not my home, Heaven is.

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Perhaps C.S. Lewis said it best: “The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can’t supply is proof that Heaven must be our home.”

~ jenelle

13 Comments

Nancy Walker

I think I figured it out–have to be sure I’m signed in via one of those icons. However, I’ve seen this message before I hit “Post Comment”: This is a non-secure form.
Is it ok to send the comment anyway?

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jenelle

Hm, I have not had anyone have issues with this before. You should just be able to leave a comment by typing in your name and email address (website is not necessary). The “this is a non-secure form” message is weird. Perhaps it simply means that anyone can leave a comment and there’s no hoops to jump through (since I have Akismet doing most of the filtering for me, I don’t require folks to click the “prove you’re a human” box or enter a Captcha phrase to prove they’re not a bot). But I will ask my internet/website guru about this later.

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Deborah O'Carroll

Yes yes yes and YES. <3 I love this post so much!!! You put it so wonderfully! Beautiful writing and awesome quotes! :) Thanks for this, and for the fantastical (in more ways than one!) month you've led us on! <3

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jenelle

Your comments always make my day. I’m glad you enjoyed it!!! Thanks for coming along for the ride on this fantastical fantasy month celebration!

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Christine

THIS. THIS. THISSSSS. Just EVERYTHING YOU SAID.

This entire post is my exact thoughts on Heaven and fantasy and just life in general. Oh, how I’d so ache to go to a fantasy world when I was younger (okay, and now as well…). But, like you, as I got older I realized it was Heaven I was so longing for. And that place is REAL. How could we not look forward to it?

The C.S. Lewis quote you closed with may be my favorite quote of all time. I think it may have been that very quote that caused me to realize my aching for a fantasy world was actually my longing to be Home. In Heaven with my Savior.

People, especially Christians to be honest, can say a lot of bad things about fantasy. But GOOD fantasy can point us Home, and remind us we do have a happy ending.

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jenelle

Thank you for your kind comment.

Exactly. How could we not? Heaven is gonna be awesome!!

I love C.S. Lewis quotes. And J.R.R. Tolkien quotes. And… okay, I’ll admit it, I’m a little bit quote-crazy in general.

Well, let’s be honest, everyone can say a lot of bad things about just about any genre. If you have to clarify between “good” fantasy and “bad” fantasy, then we should also be required to clarify between “good” Christian romance and “trashy” Christian romance… ahem, just to name another genre randomly off the top of my head… ahem. Fantasy often gets an unfairly bad rap, in my humble opinion. :)

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