Stories of good and evil, light and darkness

this present darknessI was going to write something about Halloween or All Soul’s Day for my post today, but I didn’t think there was anything I could add to conversations swirling around out there. People have their opinions about what to do or not do when October 31 rolls around, and most of the time, they stick to those opinions pretty firmly.

As a reader, I am always a fan of stories about good and evil. What is it inside us that sometimes likes to peek at the dark? Not to enjoy it, per se, not to see how close we can get to evil without it harming us (the horror movies are pretty clear about people who dabble with things they shouldn’t).

Millions have read Frank Peretti’s now-classic duo of books, This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, and authors have followed his trail with those glimpses into the dark.

Another story I’m a fan of is one by Ray Bradbury, made into a lesser-known film by Disney, called Something Wicked This Way Comes.

I first saw the film my sophomore year of college. Looking back, the production wasn’t exactly state of the art, but it captured the feel of Bradbury’s short story that has stuck with me, all these years later.

Common to these tales is the fact that evil doesn’t always look bad. In fact, evil can sometimes look like the thing we want the most. It can be beautiful, taste good, look good, feel good.

How can something appealing be bad?

Also, we learn there’s much more going on than people see with their physical eyes. Peretti peeled back the veil so we could see around it, and view his perspective. I know people have criticized such views sometimes, but hey, he’s not making a doctrine out of it.

One of the things I like best about a great story about good and evil is the underlying fact that: good wins, the light wins. God wins.

St. George and the Dragon. Raphael, about 1506

St. George and the Dragon. Raphael, about 1506

Some books show the struggle between darkness and light, good and evil, but there isn’t that hopeful thread running throughout. What kind of an ending is that, without hope? The horror movie world might call it “room for a sequel,” but that’s just it—it’s devoid of hope.

The best Story of all shows us that no matter how dark the night, how deceptive the evil, God wins!

The image to the right is of a painting I fell in love with during my college days. I saw it at the National Gallery of Art and purchased a print that’s hung in my living room for more than 20 years. George wins the battle, even as his lady prays for him in the background.

What stories, what books showing the struggle between good and evil have you enjoyed, and turned to time and again?

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5

You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light. 2 Samuel 22:29

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. Psalm 112:4

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:46

Lynette Sowell writes fiction for the inspirational market, from contemporary romance to mysteries. She’s always looking for the perfect recipe for a story–or a great dish–and is always up for a Texas road trip. Her newest release is A Grand Teton Sleigh Ridea Christmas novella collection from Barbour Publishing. Her next release comes on Tuesday–A Path Made Plain, book two in the Seasons in Pinecraft series.

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