Monday, April 27, 2009

A Matter of Perspective

Have you ever seen the movie “The Spiderwick Chronicles” or read the books? I haven’t read the books but I did see the movie a long time ago. Basically, the story is about a family who moves to a country home. One of the children discovers a magic book - an encyclopedia filled with everything you'd ever want to know about supernatural creatures. This book explains that the family's property and the neighboring woods are inhabited by thousands of magical creatures including benign brownies, fairies, and sprites. Goblins and ogres are kept away by an invisible force field placed around the house by the children’s grandfather, Arthur Spiderwick. Humans can only see these beings by looking through a special stone, or by being spat upon by the friendly hobgoblin Hogsqueal.
Now with that in mind, read this quote from the book Living in the Light of Eternity: How to Base Your Life on What Really Matters by Stacy and Paula Rinehart. I ran across it this weekend and couldn’t help but be reminded of this movie.
The Bible is a map for pilgrims trying to make their way through a barren land. Every time we open its pages we’re reminded of the eternal realm, of the supernatural dimension hidden and revealed in the natural world.
I don’t know if the writers of the Spiderwick Chronicles books intended for them to have any spiritual significance, but it was an interesting visual parallel for me. In the movie/books, there is another world of creatures all around this family, but they were oblivious to it until they found the book and the special lens that helped them to see the creatures. Likewise, there is a spiritual battle going on around us but we are oblivious to it unless we immerse ourselves in the Bible and see things through the lens of God’s Word.

If you’ve read the books, let me know if you think there’s more spiritual symbolism in there and if you think it would be worthwhile to read them. I don’t wholeheartedly endorse this movie for all ages. Some younger or more sensitive viewers might be scared of some of the creatures. If you want a more thorough review of the movie, you can look at the one here or here.


Baroness Insomniac said...

No offence intended at all here, but this sounds too much like my old way of life for my comfort and it worries me for adults to write and produce things that could lead a child to believe that magic is just pretend and to depict demonic spirits as benign. I don't mean we should go off the deep end and not allow our children a childhood but rather I wish that writers would take more care before jumping off the fantasy novel cliff; a cliff which I visit often in my own writing, trying to ensure as I go that I don't weave any witchcraft threads in my stories.

Jennifer said...

Baroness - no offense taken at all! We had no intention of seeing this movie when we saw the previews. It looked too scary. When we did actually see it, though, it wasn't as bad as the previews made it seem. While I try to steer clear of movies/shows/books which depict witches and warlocks, the creatures in this movie were clearly fantasy, so that part didn't concern me. If I didn't allow my kids to read any books with magic in them, we never would be able to read the Narnia books and I think those are very profitable. I agree that caution is needed, though.

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