By R. D. Fierro
The first two titles being published by Crystal Sea Books, The Prodigal’s Advocate and Doors of Destiny: A Choice Orb Tale, are both Christian allegory. Why have we chosen to do this?
Simply put, allegory allows us to personally enter a story that is otherwise too big for us to see our place in it.
The redemption of human kind is a big story. It was thousands of years in the planning, preparation, and ultimate consummation. And while we can read with both fascination and wonder at how it unfolds in the pages of sacred scripture, sometimes it can be hard for us to see where we fit into it. It’s so big and vast and the ultimate hero of the story, Jesus, is so heroic that sometimes it’s hard for us to see a place – or a need – for us.
Consider C.S. Lewis’ best known allegory, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from the Chronicles of Narnia series. The story is so engaging that we feel our own affinity with Edward as we find him betraying his brother and sisters. We can share his terror as he realizes that he can rightfully be turned over to the witch for her vindictive purposes. We watch with horror Aslan being sacrificed at the stone table. We realize the true nature of the transaction that has occurred when we watch the resurrected Aslan breathe life into the stone statues that had been rendered inert by the evil queen.
Lewis’ great story puts us in the middle of the action and we can see where we fit it. We, too, have been victims of the schemes of an evil inhuman being. We also have hearts of stone that need the Breath of Life. After restoration we too want to fight in the ongoing battle to defeat a persistent, but ultimately defeated, foe. Through Lewis’ words, we can see our place in the great, grand unfolding drama of creation, fall, redemption, and final victory.
It is this ability to draw us to the bigger story that allegory has an important – and possibly irreplaceable – role to play in fiction and particularly Christian fiction.
As my colleague Darlene noted in an earlier post on Crystal Clear (this blog) “a story becomes part of us.” Allegories are special kind of stories in that, when they become part of us, they show us how our story fits in with bigger stories and, in fact, into the biggest story of all time. Allegory reminds us that all of life has purpose –whether for good or ill. Our lives matter, not just for now but for eternity. These lives really are journeys and adventures of eternal consequence. This is truth we need to understand, embrace, and share. Allegories help us do that and so should be part of a well-rounded reading life.