My Thought After Reading Many Books

I read this snippet while skimming the Journals of Jim Elliott, and it resonated deep within me:

"I am reading The Return of the Native. Poor Hardy! If only he could have once seen the hand of God."

So true of a great many books --like A Thousand Splendid Suns or The Kite Runner-- and many many movies. Sort of reflects your feelings on The Dark Knight, Jeannette. (she commented: "I enjoyed the movie very much (so many unexpected twists and turns), but I came away thinking this is what our world would almost look like without the presence of the Holy Spirit.")If only these tale-spinners would be caught in the Great Story! Then, oh how wonderful, how true, how moving, how deep their tales would be-- truly glorious. Truly heroic.

Jim Elliot goes on in a slightly different vein than did my thought, but one I appreciate nevertheless (much of my frustration with modern novels, or even most lately with Villette are expressed so well by him):

"The tragic lines of Egden Heath form patterns which resist any idea of the working of the will. If he could once have experienced a well-timed incident that wrought the greatest possible good, perhaps he would not have written as he did. Each event is so meshed with the unreasoning ill, and the reader gets to expect the blackest. Really he does in the negative what poor novelists do in the positive-- accentuates improbabilities-- only he does it to his heroes' ill; they to the betterment of theirs. Neither are true to life. Granted, fate and tragedy, aimlessness and just missing by a hair are part of human experience, but they are not all, and I'm not sure that they are even a major part, even in the lives of men who know no Designer or design. For me, I have seen a keener force yet-- the force of ultimate good working though seeming (and sensed!) ill. Not that there is rosiness ever; there is genuine ill, struggle, dark-handed, unreasoning fate, mistakes,"if onlys," and all the Hardyisms you can muster. But in them I am beginning to discover a plan greater than any could imagine." (November 29th, 1951)

Maybe that's one reason so many of us have deeply enjoyed Harry Potter; certainly why The Lord of the Rings has resonated with so many for so long: both must be finished with the realization that EVERYTHING, every name, every niggling detail, every seeming loose end, was part of a Great Plan; that nothing was in vain, and that evil could not, did not win-- all was Better Planned.

Lord, send such story-writers to our generation!! Let us see movies flooded with eucatastrophes; true horrors redeemed by purpose; neither flippant shallow storybook endings nor despairing pointless sequences... God, make Your Plan obvious in my life-- and this is the Loom upon which every Saved Soul's story is woven: that Christ should be more evident in me (Rom 8:28-30).

Amen.

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