Ursula Le Guin, the fantasy writer once said something like, "Fantasy stories are true of course. They aren't factual, but they are true. Adults know it too, and that is why many are afraid of fantasy stories."
We are too often satisfied with the world as it is to allow that beautiful imagination to capture what God has truly made for our minds: to behold! And wonder -
We are told that there is so much more than this - but to play out there is a little riskier, we think, a little outside of our control, and so we'd rather stick with what lies right before me. But how shameful are we!
"For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11
The mountains will sing, and the trees will give their applause. They know each other, and are impressed at each other's beauty. This is prophecy about what is to come, when the Lord God will make new his beautiful world. Every time I see a big tree with my girls I ask them to put their hands on the tree and then stare straight up. It is not so much that I want them to feel small - but instead that I want them to imagine what kind of wonders are in this world. One children's writer says that when her kids ask questions like "Are unicorns real? She replies, yea, they just might be." After all, we have angels in this world, stars that flicker, and mountains that are ready to sing.
If you've seen the new movie La La Land then you delighted in a sort of throw-back musical of Hollywood whimsy, carefree singing and dancing, and the suspicion that true love really is possible. We do live in a world where I can be dancing and others will dance too; we'll know the same songs and like these trees, we'll bring our applause and encourage: you are so worth it. When I lived in New York, I used to go out in the crowded Manhattan street when it would rain heavily, because I wanted so badly for those Hollywood moments to really exist. I wanted to have some epiphany in the rain that would prove to me magically that there was more to life than this. it didn't happen in those moments for me because I had failed to see magic all around when the sun was shining. I wanted to create my own world, a world where cool things happened, but one where I would still be king. It doesn't work that way. I am a peasant here in this country, but here peasants eat with kings and every name is carved carefully into the streets of gold.
I encounter the magic of this world when I open the Word, when I play with my wonderful children (whose imaginations are just wicked awesome!), and when I rest and feel the cool breeze on my nose. As Louie sings, 'What a Wonderful World.'