In case you haven’t quite caught it, we read a lot around here. Lately, I’ve been introducing my kids to Bill Myers’ Fayrah series (co-creator of McGee &Me, if you remember that series). It’s been a favorite of mine for a long time. The stories are fun and provide lots of opportunity to talk to your kids about spiritual concepts (or to be reminded of them for yourself!). Three main characters (Denise, Nathan, and Joshua) are transported to an alternate world in an alternate dimension so they can learn about Imager (similar to Narnia).
I really love how Myers uses analogy to talk about spiritual concepts. I could talk about each of the characters and their growth, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll focus on Denise. For example, in book two, The Experiment, Denise is struggling with Imager’s love–in large part because her father left her at an early age. The Fayrahnians take her to a machine that’s been infused with Imager’s breath and is able to create life in this miniature world. She’s instructed to create some beings so she can experience Imager’s love for His creature and then left alone. She creates two cute little humanoid creatures and in the end, sacrifices herself to save them. She learns experientially that God loves her because He made her. She also has some interesting revelations with the creatures putting themselves in situations where they’re unable to hear her.
Another little fun analogy he has going throughout the series is the water in Fayrah–it’s made up of Imager’s words. For humans (upside-downers), it’s the only way to be able to see or hear anything correctly. Denise, Nathan, and Joshua all have to pour the water in their ears and eyes to be able to function.
In The Whirlwind, Myers describes the feeling of being re-breathed (saved) thus: “Immediately, [Denise] was struck with a feeling of lightness. First it started in her head. it felt as if a heavy darkness were being drained from it. All of the confusion and muddled thinking that had plagued her mind as far back as she could remember was suddenly being drawn away…Next she felt her neck and shoulders start to grow light. A heaviness was being drained from them and out her feet into the pool. As the weight slipped away, she noticed her fears were also slipping away. Fears that she wasn’t loved. Fears that no one cared, that she really was on her own. Now, suddenly all those fears began to drain away…Next Denise felt the darkness leave her chest. Gradually, all the guilt over all the wrongs she had done was drained away. It felt as if a giant weight were removed. For the first time in her life, she felt like she could breathe. Really Breathe.”
It was a lot of fun to read Denise and Nathan’s conversion experiences and to remember my own. Sometimes, in the bustle of life, it’s easy to forget what things were like pre-Jesus. My life was pretty rotten. I definitely lived in fear, despair, shame, guilt, etc., etc. Reading this section to my kids reminded me that, as Christians, we really don’t have anything to worry about. Our sin is redeemed–taken away and the consequences are transformed. We’re loved–so loved that God died for us. As Romans 8:32 puts it, how will he not also along with this graciously give us all things? The God who sacrificed Himself for us and owns everything isn’t going to grudge us food to eat or a place to live–He provides for us abundantly and joyfully (Matt. 6:25-34).
I also really love at the end of The Whirlwind where Denise is put in a situation where the accuser is reminding her of everything she’s ever done wrong and it’s up to her to hang onto what’s true. So hard to do in real life!
If you’ve never read them, they’re definitely worth checking out!