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Tales of Fantasy, Mystery and Adventure Under the Influence of Christian Homeschooling

S. A. J. Lyttek, a multiple award-winning writer, always loved writing, but didn’t arrive at the profession in the typical manner. After college and graduate school, she plunged into government consulting. In this environment, she discovered a knack for writing tests, interviews and other measurements. That soon became the focus of her career—reigniting her love for the written word. Thus captivated, she spent evenings freelancing “fun” writing including short stories, poems, articles and cards. When her eldest was a toddler, she quit full-time work to stay home and write. Eager to spend more time with her children, homeschooling intrigued her. From preschool through high school, she homeschooled both sons while continuing to freelance. While an integral part of the homeschooling community, she developed and taught writing classes to a generation of homeschoolers. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Gary, Mrs. Lyttek loves to share her commitment to learners of all ages and her fascination with the written word.


This Thin Day

4/17/2024 9:20:00 AM BY Susan Lyttek

No, the title of this blog does not mean that I’ve suddenly lost my excess weight, though that would be nice. Nor does it have to do with thin clouds or abbreviated time.

When I talk about days and times that are thin, I mean when the boundary between the natural and the supernatural thins. Those times, those days when angels, demons, bizarre coincidences tread upon our reality. The times when dreams and visions cloud our eyes.

On Friday, the next of the Portal Watchers releases. In Three Impossible Tasks, those boundaries flex and the characters ignore the existence of hidden realities to their peril. Garth is the first to suffer harm when he forgets to stay on guard within the borders of the queen’s fortress. When evil attacks him, more specifically his leg, he can feel the pain of it, but he can’t see anything. At least not until his leg is submerged in clean, clear water. (I’m intentionally trying to be as vague as possible so as not to give spoilers.) Then, covered by purity (or at least the symbol of it), the evil is visible and obvious. The water thinned the border between the natural and the supernatural.

Back in September, I wrote a post about the problem of visions. The sensation of impending change and/or doom kept intensifying after that. By January, it was so heightened it drove my blood pressure up and interfered with my ability to sleep. I saw more and more of the “snapshots” and somehow, I knew, that something intense was on the horizon. I told this to Gary with increasing urgency. And then, I said, “I don’t know what it is, but something very bad, evil, is going to happen very soon.”

Within a week, it did. Was it bad for the world? No. For our family and those dear to us? Yes.

With poets, artists, and sensitive souls, often the border between the natural and the supernatural grows quite thin. I’m convinced, even though I have no proof of it, that a high percentage of fantasy writers have had supernatural experiences; they’ve experienced the fantastic which makes it easier to convey such worlds and other realities with their audiences.

For most of humanity, I believe the border between the natural and supernatural is self-imposed. I don’t mean people consciously choose it. It’s like blinking to protect your eyes from dust-filled wind. Their reflexes, trying to live in the day-to-day, drop a veil over their eyes or a film over the mirror so that we don’t live in constant terror of the battles going on around us.

Sometimes, those battles can reassure us if we see how God’s angels are protecting us. I think of the account with Elisha and his servant in 2 Kings. The servant saw the troops that the king of Aram had sent, hoping to take Elisha prisoner.

<The servant asked,> “Oh, my master, what are we to do?”

Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid, for those who are with us outnumber those who are with them.”

Then Elisha prayed, “LORD, please open his eyes and let him see.” (6:15b-17a, HCSB)

With the veil removed, the servant could see why Elisha was calm. He could see the angels in battle gear ready to rout the Aramean troops.

Since January, there have been multiple instances of the barrier between the natural and supernatural thinning. The miracles and protections have been reassuring that God is bigger and stronger than any worldly or demonic attacks that have come our way. God will never leave the righteous forsaken.

As it is with Garth, in the book. As awful as the attack is that he undergoes, he is not forsaken. People, willing and unwilling, come to his rescue and protect him from those who would wish death upon the watcher. His suffering remains in part and never completely goes away, but his protection intensifies, and his witness and actions, even wounded, work for the cause of good.

May that be the same for us. May our wounds from when the border thins and we are attacked be a witness to Almighty God, his power and provision.