It’s been so long since I’ve had the time to actually sit and read… Last weekend, though, I went camping, and I had the opportunity to sit and just read for a while. It was so nice to have that time… (sure, it took me a while to re-grasp what was going on in the book I’d started mid-semester, but..)

Anyway, so I’ve been reading this trilogy that has a lot of symbolism/fantasy type stuff in it. Some of it kind of reminds me of Narnia. It is a great series… I had quickly recognized the parallels between the biblical and fictional accounts at the beginning of the first book. It was easy to see that the author had pretty much written his own fictionalized version of the Bible.. meaning he gave the characters different names and situations and all, but they basically had the same choices to make and the same consequences for their actions.

Book one started out with an interpretation of the Garden of Eden.. with everything perfect and no understanding of anything evil. There was an area the people are not supposed to even go near, just like Adam and Eve were told not to eat the fruit from the one forbidden tree in the garden. Pretty soon somebody gave in to the temptation to go into this area, and he ate some fruit given to him by the deceiver. Everything got messed up; the world was no longer perfect. People began to be attacked by these creatures from the forbidden forest, kind of making me think of when the Wicked Witch sends the flying monkeys after Dorothy and her friends on “The Wizard of Oz.” The people all fled and eventually found a new forest where they were able to begin a new life.

They lived in this other forest for like fifteen years, building up a powerful army and being careful to follow all the rules of their religious traditions. That was the trouble though. They began to let what had previously been their life and joy become a set of rules and traditions. They came to the point that they were keeping up these traditions because that is just what they were supposed to do, and it was not coming from their heart. They’d forgotten the true love of God, and as a result, their lives were just a bunch of rituals that really meant nothing to them.

Well, some things happened in this forest where they were living… a guy came to town who’d grown up as one of them, but who had in more recent years begun to associate with the enemy. Not joining them, but just associating with them, trying to make peace with them instead of fighting as most people living in the forest wanted to do. Because of his association with the enemy, many no longer trusted this guy.

Having given the background of the basic storyline, now I can get to the point of what has been really getting to me in the past week…

I found it so easy as I read to just go right along with what those people of the forest thought about this other guy. All too easy. I did not agree with the way they had lost the vision and heart of what they were doing and Who they were worshiping, but neither did I really think that it was going to end up that this guy they were so against was actually the Creator in the flesh. When I first started realizing this, I began to feel sick. I not only know the prophesies and how they all came true, but I even have the Word of God at my fingertips. No, not having the Bible at my fingertips would not justify overlooking Who He is, but I guess I feel like the people we read about in the Bible — the Pharisees and all — were living at that time; they got to watch the prophesies play out, yet they just didn’t get it. They never recognized Jesus for Who He is. But here I am… living in 2007… I have the entire “story” [for lack of a better word at the moment — I know it’s so much more than any story could ever be] right here. I know how it turns out. I know Jesus came to the earth, God in the flesh, and next to nobody recognized Him.

It so disturbs me to know that I have been reading these books, knowing the parallels they have with the Bible, and yet I didn’t recognize the character this author chose to represent Jesus. It really makes me stop and think… would I recognize Him if He stood right in front of me? Would I have recognized Him had I lived when He was physically walking around here on the earth? Or.. would I have condemned Him for blasphemy and making peace with the enemy as the people in these books and the people in real life did?

Something in me thought the guy in the book was an imposter, like the antichrist or something. Why?… I don’t know exactly. I guess I just thought it was too simple for this guy to be Jesus. When I realized it, I just wanted to sit there and cry. I felt so sick and disgusted and disappointed with myself. How on earth could I not recognize Jesus?

Sure, I suppose it could be argued in my defense that this guy isn’t really Jesus. He is just one author’s portrayal of Him in a series of fiction books. But.. still.. I honestly don’t think that is an excuse I can go for. I don’t think there is an excuse. And you know.. I don’t want an excuse. I want to know that I am following God and that I would recognize Him.

Knowing I have so miserably failed this “test” of sorts is so humbling. It makes me think of how little I really know and wonder who I am to be sharing through writing what God is teaching me and what He is helping me every day to apply in my life. I am nobody without Him.

Just like Todd Agnew’s song, “My Jesus,” says… “sometimes I doubt we’d recognize Him.”