I found my love for children’s books when I was already an adult. I struggled to read as a child and didn’t spend more time than I had to for school and such. I hated the required reading for school. I still have an aversion to Jane Austen books because Pride and Prejudice was a required book in 11th grade. I’m trying to get over than aversion and pick it up. I really am.
I discovered Narnia, Peter Pan, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and more in my twenties. I had seen them in movies, but this was different. I could appreciate them in a way that perhaps I couldn’t have as a child. I understand what CS Lewis is saying. A book worth reading is worth it for a life time.
I discovered Little House on the Prairie, the Boxcar Children and more once I had my own children. I love that they love to be read to because it gives me a chance to read all these books that I’ve never read before. I get to enjoy and discover them right alongside my children. I get to have my heart broken when Wendy grows up in Peter Pan. And be sad when Peter and Susan are told they will not return to Narnia. I get to wonder in anguish if the Long Winter will ever end for the Ingalls family. I get to guess how the mysteries will be solved, how the heroes will survive, how the story will end. I get to share that with my kids and I love it.
I also get to share with them that all of these great stories come from a deep longing inside of us for greater things. We long for a greater kingdom. We long to be extraordinary and special. We long for a hero to save the day, for justice to be served, for our tears and pain to be worth it. We long for those things because we are created for more. We are hardwired to desire more than what we have. We are designed for God’s Kingdom and, even though they don’t always point to Him directly, these books we read show us our need and want for a savior. We root for Frodo. We cheer when Aslan defeats the White Witch, when Percy Jackson returns the Lightning Bolt, when Charlotte uses her last strength to Save Wilbur. We cheer because we get a glimpse of eternity. A longing in our heart is tugged and we know we want more.
Are you with me? We want satisfaction and belonging that can only come from knowing Jesus. We want to know that there is a greater purpose and a greater meaning. The stories are but a shadow of what we truly long for… to know and to be known. To be important. To be part of a greater story and purpose.
I love the power of a good story, but the thing I love even more is that the Author of Eternity claims me as His own.