To the atheist living in the secular world, fairytales do not exist, because they are too fantastic and too beautiful to possibly be true. Gerda never trekked across the frozen wilderness to save Kay from the Snow Queen. Beauty never went to stay in the Beast's palace. A certain dapper cat never set out to make a prince of a miller's son. It is good to believe that such stories are real when one is a child, and it is good to believe in their “messages” when one has grown up. But that is all.
To the Christian, the fact that the aforementioned events did not actually occur in history is mere happenstance: the Divine Author simply chose not to write those stories upon the pages of time. Instead, he chose to write the greatest and wildest Fairytale of all: the story of how God became man, suffered and died, in order to conquer death within us; and then rose again from the dead, in order to restore life within us. Before returning to Heaven, he bestowed upon certain chosen men the power to transform bread and wine into his very body and blood, and he commanded us all to eat this strange and beautiful Food, so that he might be with us always, and so that he might be always bringing us back to life.
See, the Christian does not shy away from the fantastic. It is his sustenance, his pilgrim's fare.
He is the quintessential dreamer, the odd-one-out, the one who has been to the magical world and back, who has seen wonderful things there and who has been changed by them. He is the one whom no one believes, who is named the fool or worse, the madman; he is the one whom society rejects, because a society obsessed with being modern and sophisticated has no place and no patience for the one who still believes in fairytales.
And yet, he is the one who always seems to be proved right at the end of the story. His childlike faith is always rewarded.
The world says to the Christian: “Your tale tickled our fancy at first, but now you have taken it too absurdly far. How could you believe that such impossible things actually happened? And how could you believe it so much as to let it change the way you live every part of your life? We will not be so changed – such a change would be too hard, too risky for us.
“Enough. Stop dreaming. Rub that stardust from your eyes.”
The Christian's reply is simple: “No, I cannot. The stardust allows me to see.”
Image: St. George and the Dragon by Edward Burne-Jones, found at illusionsgallery.com