Dear Ted Dekker,
When I read books, I read for entertainment. I'm just looking for an escape, not a life-changing lesson. When I read the Circle trilogy, I found plenty of entertainment, but I also found something more. I soon realized that this wasn't a surface story. I was riveted by how you mirrored the loss of perfection in The Garden of Eden in Black, and the deception of sin thereafter. The story contained within the three books of the Circle trilogy gave me a new outlook on my life and my faith. Teeleh was Satan in the flesh, just as the snake was in the book of Genesis. In our world I don't see evil in the form of a vile black bat with red eyes that smells of decaying flesh, but this is how evil should be viewed. If I imagine the wrongs of life this way, it is easier to stay strong in my faith.
While Tanis was being ensnared by Teeleh, I was mentally screaming at him. I couldn't understand how he could be so stupid, but at the same time, I realized that that is what life is really like, what my life is like, I am just blind to it. Tanis wasn't just being deceived but he was also victimized. Whether I want to admit it or not I am just as "stupid" as Tanis. I sin; everyone sins. The little things don't seem so bad: lying to my parents, cheating on a test, or saying a bad word, but in God's eyes they are all the same.
Showing sin as a disease that causes the skin to become dry, cracked, flakey, and painful with every move that is made painted a vivid picture for me. I couldn't believe that the characters with the disease preferred to have it rather than cure it by bathing in the healing water. The longer they have had the disease the more painful it was to get rid of it. I believe this is true in our world as well. The longer I refuse to believe that I have sinned, the harder it is to make me accept that it is true. So even if it hurts at first it will be exponentially better in the long run. That's how deceptive doing wrong is - the more I do a wrong action the less wrong it seems until I hardly notice it at all.
Sin is a disease that sucks the joy out of life. Your story, the Circle trilogy, taught me this simple, yet difficult to believe, fact of life. I hesitate to say that this story changed my life but, in a way, it did. I would love it if God would just yell down from the heavens and give me all the answers, but that's not the way it works. That would be too easy, and the whole point of Christianity is taking a leap of faith. That is what Black, Red, and White helped me understand, and that is why this is one of the most meaningful books I have ever read.