Is there any hope left in the universe?
Good question. There are good reasons why the answer could be either yes or no, and that answer defines your life.
In The Tale of Despereaux By Kate DiCamillo, a dumbo-eared mouse the size of a thimble named Despereaux has a nightmare. He dreams about a knight in shining armor. He shouts out to the shining knight, "Who are you? Will you save me?" (or something like that) The knight says to him in reply: "You know who I am." The knight raises his visor. The armor is empty.
"No! No! NO!" Despereaux screams in his sleep, tears squeezing out of his tightly shut eyes. "There IS no knight in shining armor! There IS no happily ever after!"
Reader, is there?
Why shouldn't be Jesus be another paper-doll hero? Did we invent him because the world is hopeless and humans are butterless fried eggs? Perhaps we create this patchwork goodness for ourselves out of wishful thinking, like Sara Crewe, like Calvin and Hobbes, like the woman who touched the hem of Christ's cloak.
A good atheist will stop there: we create the knight in shining armor because he doesn't exist and world is meaningless.
But you know, that doesn't make sense. Why would you invent something that doesn't exist?
That might sound like a stupid question, but as I tried to point out in my post fairy-tales are real, everything we imagine corresponds with something real. If it doesn't, you don't have a very good imagination. A very serious misconception among people is that fantasy serves as an escape from reality. It's not. It's to outline and exaggerate the beautiful nuances of a very real world.
|Michael S. Den Beste|
George Macdonald says that if there isn't a man in the moon, there’s something better. I, for one, was really bummed when I found out there wasn't really a man in the moon. I still wanted to believe that the moon wore a nightcap, was shaped like toenail, and was made of cheese. It was more interesting to look at the moon that way—the actual moon was a disappointment.
I think that's missing the whole point of the man in the moon. That mental image wasn't invented to make a boring thing interesting; it's just trying to find a way to show just how cool the moon is. Why was I so disappointed there isn’t actually a man in the moon? Was I saying that a giant iron and silicon rock the size of America suspended in outer space and orbiting our planet at 2288 miles per hour is somehow less miraculous? (Magic and science are one in the same thing).
Fantasy is not projecting poetic ideas on a bland thing (the moon is boring, so let's put a man in it) it's to describe the beauty of something without losing the wonder of when you first saw it (I don't know how to explain it, but it's like a man in the moon!)
Perhaps THAT'S the whole point of art: stitching together patchwork goodness because we know it exists somewhere.
I've posted this quote before, and here it is again. It's G.K. Chesterton.
"When we speak of things being sham, we generally mean that they are imitations of things that are genuine...why should sham miracles prove that the real Saints and Prophets never lived?"
Or rather...why should the paper-doll hero prove that there is no hero?