One of the favorite activities of our early homeschooling days was family reading time. My husband or I would pick a series (e.g., The Chronicles of Narnia, Little House on the Prairie, or Anne of Green Gables) and witness the curiosity and enjoyment of individual children as a new world was opened to them. The one I enjoyed the most was The Tales of the Kingdom trilogy – an allegorical depiction of the Kingdom of God and how the fallen world under the control of the devil seeks to dislodge and overturn it.
A running theme throughout the stories is the battle the Enchanter carries on against the King. The greeting of Rangers (those faithful to the King) went like this:
“How goes the world?”
“The world goes not well. But, the Kingdom comes!”
(spoken together) “To the King; To the Restoration!”
The Enchanted City, where the Enchanter ruled, was a place where those faithful to the King were under constant attack. The Enchanter’s henchmen, the Burners and Breakers, would seek to steal children away from their parents and claim ownership of them as orphans. The Enchanter would challenge the existence of the King as mere myth and fable. His mantra was “Seeing is believing,” while the King’s faithful declared “Believing is seeing,” This always brought to mind the words of St. Anselm of Canterbury, a monk, archbishop, and theologian, in his well-known prayer:
…I desire in some measure to understand your truth, which my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this too I believe, that "unless I believe, I shall not understand."
As a result of our interaction with these books, we adopted the practice of sharing our “sightings” with each other. In the stories, sightings were those instances where Hero (the main character) chronicled occurrences where the King was spotted in disguise: sometimes as a beggar, a woodcutter, or a caring friend. This concept of looking for and sharing about situations in our lives where we spotted King Jesus in action became such a part of our lives that we incorporated sightings into our house church services. Time was set aside to share our sightings of Our Lord in our day-to-day life. We developed an expectation that we would encounter Him regularly, and witness the power and victory of the Christian life on a daily basis.
One eight-year-old boy (who was a heart transplant and cancer patient) had the best sightings. He recounted his conversations with anesthesiologists and medical personal at Stanford Children’s Hospital prior to his biopsies when he would ask if they knew Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Or, how, when waiting for an outpatient procedure, he would be able to comfort other children who were frightened and crying, praying with them to ease their fears. He always expected to see Jesus at work in and around his life. Sightings became a favorite portion of the service for us.
It is very important in trying times to remember that God is on the throne and, despite how things may appear, and how strong the wicked seem to be, that we should “fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kings 6:8-17).