Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: Poets, Bards, and Dragon-Slayers

There will always be dragons in this world.

I’ve maintained that belief for most of my life. Frankly, I believe in both literal and figurative dragons.

This was something my children have always been a bit unsure about. When they were young, they would whisper to their friends, with a touch excited skepticism, “My Dad believes in dragons.” My guess is they weren’t sure whether this is a good thing or not. A dad who believes in dragons could mean you have the coolest dad ever.
Or the craziest.

It’s just a big world out there. The dragon myth is in nearly every culture. Myth is always based on some reality. I do not doubt that there is or was some creature on which the global dragon myth is based.

And we don’t know what’s yet hiding in the dark, unexplored corners of the world.

There are most certainly dragons of the figurative kind around. Swarms of them. Dragons of war and famine. Dragons that burn rain forests and turn away people in desperate need. Dragons of injustice and racism and hatred. Dragons that divide families and divide nations. Dragons that destroy churches and spread lies and that make headlines every week. Every day. Dragons that spew venomous, destructive fire in 160 character tweets.

Sometimes we even become the dragon we despise. Like Eustace, one of my favorite characters from Narnia-lore. When we act like the dragon, it’s possible to become the dragon. Then our only hope for change is the transformative work the Lion’s Claw.

We live in a day when it’s sometimes difficult to see the dragons around us.
We assume they’re not real. They don’t exist. The ancient stories can’t possibly be true.

Yet, they are. Just scan your Twitter feed.

This is why we need artists and poets, seers and bards.
We need those who will help us to see things as they are.
We need to see the dragons so we can face the ones we can.
And put our hope in the One who will ultimately defeat them all.

We need the seer and the poet to help us see what we should have seen, but dared not. In the process of unveiling and opening up of new possibilities, the artist and the poet take on the mantle of the prophet. They lilt us with the lullaby of long-forgotten dreams and dare us to live again with boldness and hope.
— Charles Ringma