Redeeming the Imagination, by Wendy DeRaud

Back around 1989 or 1990 when I was teaching kindergarten in the Bay Area, I got very sick and had to miss a lot of school. My friend Victoria lived just a block away from me in my San Francisco flat, and one day, brought over a pile of books to keep me busy while I recuperated. These books would change my life.

They were Michael Phillips’ abridged and translated versions of George MacDonald’s novels, and I devoured them one by one.

It wasn’t long after that when Victoria would introduce me to my husband Mark, setting us up on a blind date. I owe much gratitude to Victoria for introducing me to both Mark, as well as my spiritual mentor and mystical guide, George MacDonald.

As Mark and I were courting from a distance (he in Fresno, I in San Francisco), I joined a small book study group to read “Mere Christianity”, by C.S. Lewis. This book would also be instrumental in my Christian walk.


It wasn’t the first time I met Lewis, however. When I was in college, I read the entire Chronicles of Narnia and it brought me out of a deep depression. It wasn’t till years later when I came to faith in Christ, that I realized that I had experienced a spiritual impartation by entering into Narnia, and that I would never be the same.

Lewis and MacDonald continued to influence me on my journey as their writings informed me by helping connect my rational mind with my heart, and my heart to my imagination.

That’s why just last week when I visited the Wade Center at Wheaton College my heart leapt with joy and I felt as if I entered into a holy shrine for the literary masters of the Imagination.

I had heard about the new documentary, “Fantasy Makers,” about the lives of MacDonald, Lewis and Tolkien, and I was looking forward to seeing it on PBS in December, but when I saw the DVD for sale at the Wade Center, I was overjoyed, and bought it immediately.

We saw it last night and was moved to tears. I’m sure what I’m learning through many future viewings will feed my writing and inspire more blogs.

Here’s the trailer to whet your appetite. If you live in Fresno, let me know and we can invite you to our home to see, “Fantasy Makers” to help kick off our upcoming Art ’n Soul relaunch.