Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Wise Woman

Do you know the author, George MacDonald? He was a writer in the 19th century who was most famous for his fantasy writing. Perhaps he is even more famous for whom he influenced, the members of the Inklings... Charles Williams, J. R. R. Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis. I decided on a whim to reread his short story, The Wise Woman, last week.

There are parts of it that have haunted me ever since. In a simple story, such deep truths are conveyed that they require a lot of thinking upon. What starts out as something the reader expects to be an allegory about good parenting becomes by the end, a glimpse into our own natural, sinful state and how God parents us.

For instance, I found this bit of conversation between the Wise Woman and the princess to be compelling. The Wise Woman is preparing the princess for the trial she (the princess) must face.

" 'You shall not be frightened, except it be your own doing. You are already a brave girl, and there is no occasion to try you more that way. I saw how you rushed into the middle of the ugly creatures; and as they ran from you, so will all kinds of evil things, as long as you keep them outside of you, and do not open the cottage of your heart to let them in.' "

Or this, as the princess comes face to face with her own wretchedness. She has just viewed a scene of creation... the creator as a beautiful girl child throwing flower from her lap where they then rooted and bloomed and then seeing a winged pony who came at the call of the child. When the princess touched these same flowers, they shriveled and died, and when the princess called the pony, she was so quick and heedless that the pony reared away and hit her with his tail.

"Then a shudder thrilled through the heart of the princess, and she thought with herself, saying -- 'What sort of a creature am I that the flowers wither when I touch them, and the ponies despise me with their tails? What a wretched, coarse, ill-bred creature I must be! There is that lovely child given life instead of death to the flowers, and a moment ago I was hating her! I am made horrid, and I shall be horrid, and I hate myself, and yet I can't help being myself!' "

When read in the context of the entire story, it is such a picture of what sin does to beauty that it took my breath away. The image of the princess killing the flowers with her mere touch has stayed with me and I find myself stopping and asking myself if I am "killing the flowers" with what I'm about to do or say.

If you have an appreciation for allegorical fantasy, I heartily recommend this book to you. And even if you think you don't, it might be worth giving it a try.

Continuing to advocate for the children in Bulgaria. Their files were sent back which means that they cannot be advocated for on Reese's Rainbow or have any funds donated towards their adoptions. It means they are essentially invisible and unwanted. It tells the government and the agencies that yes, indeed, their initial assumptions were correct. No one wants a child like these. They are not worth it.

But they are! They are created by God in His image and we are called to care for them. They are truly the least of these. I cannot let them go; I think about them in nearly every free moment that I have. I'm going to post one of their pictures here at the bottom of each of my posts each day. Would you join me in praying for each of these children? Pray that a family would come forward who is willing to adopt them. Love them. Pray that they will know they are not forgotten? There is still hope for these little ones as their files can be specially asked for, it just adds time to the process.

This is Kramer. I can't think of a time a child has touched my heart like this little boy has. (OK, maybe I can, it was H.'s picture.) He is 8 years old and has CP. Because of the CP, he has languished in a crib without appropriate food, love, or therapy. How can anyone look at this little boy and think he is worthless? Not worth the effort and love to allow him to flourish and reach his potential? He needs a family. He needs a mother and father who will love him. Please...

1 comment:

Katie said...

I love that story and George MacDonald's other books. So thought provoking.

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