Beating Dragons

Fairytales don’t tell children that dragons exist.  Children already know that dragons exist.  Fairytales tell them dragons can be beaten. – (paraphrased quote from G.K. Chesterton)

Many have lauded and condemned the video of the father and 4 year old in a conversation about the Paris tragedy.


The ones condemning the video have basically indicated that the father should have discussed a more retaliatory tale (an eye for an eye) and say the son’s understanding of the “bad guys” was more to the point than the father’s talk.

The ones lauding the video have basically said that the father was shielding the son from life’s brutality and was a good father.

I think the father was telling a story that indicated that there is an alternate way to “beat the dragons” of this world.   Very much like the prophets, Jesus, Mohammed and all religions who have like minded tenets, they all guide their flocks into an alternate way to think about justice and peace in this world.  Don’t live in hate, revenge or fear.  Live in the light.

All the evil in this world cannot be conquered by guns and war.   Neither can it be conquered by inaction.   Good people are dying at the hands of radicalized men and women whose views run counter to Jewish, Christian and Islamic teachings.

Thanksgiving is a day for the entire nation to show gratitude for its many blessings.  One of those blessings for many has been that America has been a refuge for peoples of every nation who have experienced famine, racism, political unrest, armed conflict and religious oppression.  We have been viewed by many as a land of new beginnings, a land of new opportunities and a place to heal wounds of the heart, soul and body.

As a nation of immigrants, we should be keenly aware that the lives of these displaced peoples in all conflicts matter and need to be shielded from the harm.  We need to shield and shelter them both here and abroad. There is a fairy tale working in us.  It’s the vision of a land where the bounty is plentiful, where work is rewarded, where the welcome is generous.  It’s the vision of the second coming of Christ, and God who wipes away every tear, and all things are made new.  That’s the vision.  Or fairytale. Whichever.  It tells us that the dragons do indeed exist but will be overcome at the end of the story.  How then are we supposed to live in the meantime?   If we can overcome our fear of the dragon, what is now possible for us?



This post is from my guest blogger, Jim Williams.  Yes, we are related.  He has listened to me preach for many years, in and out of the pulpit.  I thought it was worth sharing with you.   



About Pastor Betsy Williams

I am a mom. And a wife. And a Friend. And a homeowner. And a dog ...uh....owner? Actually make that two dogs. Two kids. One husband. I'm an ELCA Lutheran pastor of a beautiful downtown church. I am the third senior pastor in a century, so my 10-12 years here may feel like an interim to some of the folks here. Recently I have had no spare time. In my spare time in the future, my imagination inhabits a novel I am writing, The Funeral Preacher. My primary blog is a personal reflection on the Revised Common Lectionary...mostly: "Not All Who Wander are Lost." A few years ago I was on a team of writers who produced a little book for Augsburg Fortress in the Washed and Welcome series called "Living the Promises." It's 101 ideas for helping parents and godparents nurture their children in the faith of their baptism. I am developing another blog, more about worship at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Newark, Ohio and including a summary of the past week's preaching. Otherwise, I imagine myself to be a musician, liturgical artist, cook in a five star restaurant where the patrons keep ordering chicken nuggets, but never a bottle washer. I know how to delegate and share.
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One Response to Beating Dragons

  1. Jean Barrington says:

    Well said!

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