It is my joy to share a guest post by Rachel Leitch on “The Gospel in Fairy Tales” today. If you enjoy her writing as much as I do, be sure to check out her blog, and leave a comment under this post to share your favorite fairy tale with us!
C. S. Lewis once said, “Fairy tales say best what needs to be said.” And it’s proven to be true. Before we even know how to talk, we hear these fairy tales, and they stay with us our entire lives. Fairy tale retellings are a budding genre, and Disney issues remake after remake. You can mention the title of one of these tales in a group and everyone knows what you mean.
Buried deep in the heart of these larger-than-life stories—so deep that if you blink, you’ll miss it—is a kernel of truth, whether or not anyone planned to put it there.
The Gospel, to be exact.
The first time they read the original fairy tales, most readers—myself included—are shocked, disturbed, or even repulsed when we first read the non-Disney, original fairy tales. Many of them are dark and gruesome.
A girl trespasses in a bear’s home and gets eaten. A princess opens a box, and in so doing, destroys her world. Dozens of people get shards of glass stuck in their eyes and a snow queen takes control of them.
But haven’t we done the same kinds of things? We’ve followed the Piper’s song. Bit into the apple. Wanted everything but what we were given, striking deadly deals (seafoam, anyone?) to get it.
Only to find we could solve Rumplestiltskin’s puzzle on our own.
And that a familiar wolf was waiting for us.
Amid the sea of so-called knights, the True One came forward. He loved us and would risk anything for us. He saw the beauty deep inside our beast—not a beauty we had placed there, but beauty He would place there.
So He battled long and hard for us. And He died. He kept his promise, when, like the princess with the frog, we didn’t.
He rose again. He woke us from the sleep we had chosen. He released us from the dark tower. He brought us hope of a happily ever after.
The Happily Ever After
We’re no longer ugly ducklings. We have been transformed from a slave into royalty. We have a family.
We don’t have to desperately rub a lamp to get our Father’s attention.
To be clear, not everything may turn out the way we wish. It will be beyond anything we could wish.
We seek a greater treasure. And to others it may look strange—like trading a cow for beans. But we know better. And we don’t have to keep our joy a secret as the twelve dancing princesses did.
Battles still come. But God still fights with and for us.
Eternity waits before us, the true happily ever after. But for now, we have little bits of it.
Perhaps Mr. Lewis was right. Maybe fairy tales do say best what needs to be said.
About the Author
Rachel Judith Leitch discovered the book of writing when she was seven. She’s been turning pages ever since! When she’s not hidden away penning young adult historical adventures, she’s trying to fit all her reads on her shelf in a somewhat organized manner, rambling through history, daydreaming at the piano, or teaching students to be just as bookish as she is. In all her adventures, she learns how to shine brighter for the Father of Lights.
For more lessons drawn from books and movies and other stories, follow my adventure journal at https://racheljleitch.weebly.com!