St. Matthew says, "And he spake many things to them in parables . . . and without a parable spake he not to them."
When the powers of this world denigrate and deny the value of story, life loses much of its meaning; and for many people in the world today, life has lost its meaning, one reason why every other hospital bed is for someone with a mental, not a physical illness.
Clyde Kirby writes, "Meaninglessness inhibits fullness of life and is therefore equivalent to illness. Meaning makes a great many things endurable – perhaps everything. . . . it is not that 'God' is a myth, but that myth is the revelation of a divine life in man. It is not we who invent myth; rather, it speaks to us as a Word of God."
The well-intentioned mothers who don't want their children polluted with fairy tales would not only deny them their childhood, with its high creativity, but they would have them conform to the secular world, with its dirty devices. The world of fairy tale, fantasy, myth, is inimical to the secular world, and in total opposition to it, for it is interested not in limited laboratory proofs, but in truth.
When I was a child, reading Hans Christian Andersen's tales, reading about Joseph and his coat of many colours and his infuriating bragging about his dreams, reading The Selfish Giant and The Book of Jonah, these diverse stories spoke to me in the same language, and I knew, intuitively, that they belonged to the same world. For the world of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, is the world of Story, story which may be able to speak to us as a Word of God.
Being of such a similar mindset, I think this explains why I embrace so heartily and wholly the Orthodox Church's allowance of Mystery in its practices and theology. I don't want to make sense of the virgin birth, the Resurrection, Christ becoming bread and wine and feeding me. No, I need for the Kingdom of Heaven to transcend sense entirely. At all times, I cling to my illogical belief that Love can do magical things, impossible things, like move mountains, nourish thousands with but a tiny offering of five loaves and two fishes, burn bushes without consuming them, bring the dead back to life, forgive.
I, like L'Engle, am not interested in (and certainly not living for) laboratory proofs, but in wild, fearsome, awesome, Mystical, salvific Truth.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal,
have mercy on us!