But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
Fern was a master storyteller. A game of adventure with her was like becoming a character in a play, and watching it all at the same time. Her voice was her instrument, sonorous and deep, reminding me of thick, golden honey flowing over bread. Her imagination was our script. She created visions of butterflies darting among flowers with her whisper, and the clash of sword against shield with her shout. She could roar like a spring flood, and murmur like the hint of a breeze on the still water of a pond.
Adventures always started when Fern told us to close our eyes tightly and hold hands. We were never, never to break the magic circle of hands on our journeys. She took us to many other lands, wielding her imagination like a sorceress, her voice like a giant of old. Land of the Purple Castle, the Kingdom of the Blue Queen, Dragon Mountain, and Village of the Green Fairies... my sister and I watched and participated in dramas and activities directed by Fern who was always our hostess and guide. A circle of mushrooms, used by the fairies to dance under a full moon, a solitary blue flower in the midst of yellow ones, used by the Blue Queen’s daughter to signal to her lover, circular patches of brown grass created by dragon celebrations; everything had meaning according to the adventure.
She took us beyond Wonderland, beyond any book or story. She made us believe, oftentimes quoting entire passages from the books she had read; she made our imaginations soar. She wove us into a magic spell, transporting us safely to our destination. Did we truly go somewhere else? Probably not. But upon opening our eyes, the world always seemed a little different, skewed to unearthly spectrums of color and sound perhaps. The greatest joy was in the possibilities awaiting us at every turn, possibilities of enchantment and magic that we had only experienced whispers of in our ordinary lives.
And years later, I still believe in enchantment and magic - of a different kind. There is a book full of incredible stories, full of poetry, full of Glory. I never get tired of reading about the Kings and Queens, about the prophets who foretold the future. I allow my mind to imagine a pillar of smoke, a pillar of fire, the parting of a great sea; I picture a great temple, covered in gold and precious stones. I see a man - a savior of nations - telling stories, eating bread - a man with dusty sandals. I hear his laughter; I hear his prayers; I hear his grief. I close my eyes and feel him in my heart, and upon opening them, the world always seems a little different, skewed to unearthly spectrums of color and sound. I have only to believe.
We have been given ears to hear. We have been given eyes to see. We have met our master storyteller, host, guide, and director. His name is Jesus and He is our greatest joy.
Heavenly Father, God of the Universe, thank you for Jesus.
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