What I do believe in I learned as a child, from reading the books and movies of Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis and George Lucas.
L’Engle is the author of a series of books I read starting in second grade. In A Wrinkle in Time, the first book, Meg is 15 and has lost her brother, who is 5, to “It,” the source of evil in the universe. Meg is sent to try to save her brother, but she doesn’t know how. She is told she has something It does not have, and that thing will help her. At the final moment, she realizes the only thing she has that It does not, is love. She loves her brother. And so she turns to him and sends her love for him out from herself with all the strength she has. They are both saved. It is defeated.
Not much later, I read the Narnia stories by C.S. Lewis. In the final book of the series, The Last Battle, a soldier from another country who has always been a faithful follower of his country’s god is confronted with Aslan the Lion. He falls to the ground, expecting Aslan to kill him for worshipping the wrong god. Aslan gently lifts him up and tells him that nothing evil can be done in Aslan’s name, and nothing good can be done in the other god’s name. So when the soldier was doing good, he was always doing it for Aslan. And those who proclaimed to follow Aslan, but did evil, were always doing it for the other god.
Over the six formative elementary school years, I saw the original three Star Wars movies. When Obi-Wan senses the destruction of the planet Alderaan by the Deathstar, he tells Luke Skywalker that he has felt a great disturbance in the force, as if a million souls cried out for help, and were silenced. Obi-Wan explains the force: “It is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” As Luke struggles to feel the force, Yoda tells him that fear and aggression are the path to the dark side. Allowing fear and aggression to control him impede him from sensing and using the force.
My faith: be love; do good; feel the force.