A good friend of mine from my college days, Kyle, recently released his first book, The Dream Key (a children's adventure/sci-fi novel) on Amazon as an ebook. He's offering it free right now, so I snagged it.
It's a fun, fast read, with cool nuggets of poetry and truth throughout-- stuff that got me thinking. One such snippet describes one aspect of life under the harsh religion known as The Order:
"Adoption is illegal here. It isn't theologically sound, they say. If someone receives new parents, they are receiving what they have not earned. The Order dictates that you must earn all that you receive, and since orphans cannot earn new parents, they must remain detached from any family life."Think about that. Adoption really is totally NOT merit-based. No child could ever earn parents-- not their love, not their provision, not their care. such a reminder of why what we have in the Gospel (adoption by the King of Heaven!!) is so amazing, precious and undeserved! (as is everything else, if you think about it... what if our religion, too, was based on earning?)
Those of you who've been Adopted, like me, just let this sink in:
"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Rom. 8: 15-20)Not only do we get to pray to God as His kids (no way are we holy enough to come into His presence otherwise!), we can look forward to receiving EVERYTHING THAT JESUS, His Perfect First Son GETS!!!!! Enough that Paul, who was beaten within an inch of death many times, who was permanently scarred & disfigured by his whippings as a preacher, who was shipwrecked and imprisoned, could say "it's not even worth mentioning compared to what's coming After." Talk about undeserved.
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." (Gal 4:4-7)God sent His One Son, Beloved from before Time existed, to be born to a life of suffering, then to die a death of utter desertion... why? So that we-- hateful orphan urchins-- could be adopted as equals with that perfect, beloved, always-obedient Son. How many of us would willingly do that to gain siblings? How many parents would willingly send their children to do that?
And one more that I especially love:
"As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:13-14)
As is so often the case, it's children's literature (and/or the fantasy/sci-fi imagination-stoking genre) that leads me to worship. Story has such power to teach! What a beauty the "baptized imagination" is!! (that's a CS Lewis reference to George MacDonald's writings, btw)
Parents, kids, kids at heart, go download the book (if you have an iPhone but no kindle you can get it on your iPhone through the Kindle for iPhone app)! Apart from a few very minor editorial glitches it's really good! My only complaint is... it's a cliff-hanger ending!! Sequel, you'd better be on your way!!
[if anyone is wondering why a Christian girl like me would spend time reading- no, reveling!- in fantasy or sci-fi literature, please check out these 4 posts on the topic: In Defense of Magic, The Defense, Cont, Addendum to the Defense, and What About that Scary Ghost?) Two other great short quotes from GK Chesterton and Dorothy Sayers might help too.]