I recently read an article in Relevant Magazine by Matt Bancroft (“What’s in a Name?”) which alludes to the allegorical aspect of The Red String. Here’s a blurb from the article that really caught my attention
“God has quite literally stolen our identity. To steal means to take something with no intention of returning it. That is exactly what we asked Him to do when we accepted Him and chose to follow Jesus. The sin that was bored into our soul was replaced by the law of God, written onto each of our hearts. That same name was a refuge to an army of Israel, it defeated a giant, rescued God’s people from Egypt and the name was nailed to a cross for my sin and yours.”
Some of the people in The Red String are rescued and taken offshore to a ship called The Remnant. Then they are asked to remove the chip implanted in their hand by the government. This chip gave them their identity in many ways economically, socially, and even physically. The removal of the chip is the equivalent of being given a new name. After this act, people are never the same. They cannot return to shore without dire consequences because they have no identity there. They belong to a new place and are identified with the Guardian now. The Guardian provides a refuge for them, rescuing the weak and broken, and sacrifices an alternate life for this purpose and for their good.
“Or invisible,” the Captain finally responded. “O for that night, when I in him, might live invisible and dim!”
Li stared at him dumbfounded.
“Ever study poetry? That’s Henry Vaughan. Good stuff. Look, Li- on this ship, we are all in the same boat, both literally and figuratively. Everyone on this ship has had their chip taken out. We are not part of that world anymore. We’re free.”
–The Red String, Chapter 7 “The Loss”
Of course, allegories break down if given too much scrutiny, so I won’t go further. The Red String is not The Pilgrim’s Progress by any stretch. But the greatest story ever told seemed to me the best story to allegorize. (If that is a real word…) Even if you do not share my faith, I hope the story will at least interest you. It’s kinda epic. (The Bible, not necessarily The Red String!)