I have 3 ideas and 1 question for you as you explore your personal intimacy with Christ this week.
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:16
“Everything depends on how we read; on how we enter the magic circle of a text’s meanings; on how we smuggle ourselves into its words, and allow the texture of a text to weave its web around us.” -Michael Fishbane
The Baby, The Dwarf, The Fairy and The Green, a fairy tale
Once upon a time, a baby was abandoned in a magical forest at the opening of a cave where an old grumpy hermit dwarf lived. A giant crow swooped down on the basket and lifted it about a foot, but it was too heavy for him to carry away. Leaves crunched beneath the basket when hit to the ground.
Crying emanated from inside the basket.
The Old Dwarf stumbled out of the dark hole. “What’s this ruckus out here, disturbing my nap?”
The baby looked up with bright eyes and stopped crying. The heart of the Old Dwarf warmed for the first time. I think he likes me.
He took the baby into his cave and made a home for the little orphan. He fed, clothed, and sheltered the baby, seeing to all his needs until the boy took his first step.
The Old Dwarf’s lips and chin trembled. Something he’d never felt before was taking hold of him deep inside. Great fear overcame the Old Dwarf that day. A horrible, unthinkable thought crossed the Old Dwarf’s mind. If he can walk, he will leave me. The idea of ever being separated from the boy made his chest feel heavy.
He lowered his voice to a whisper as he picked up the toddler, “This must be what love feels like.”
The Old Dwarf carried the boy to the edge of the wide meadow that separated their cave home in the forest shade from the big city beyond. He sat the boy down on a flat stone nestled in the dirt that sat just before the edge of the great meadow.
He picked up a long stick and traced the meadow edge in front of them. Back and forth. Back and forth saying, “Green.”
After tapping the stick on the grass three times, he snapped his fingers, igniting the stick into flames. “Danger,” he said with a frown. The boy teared up.
His father scooped him into his arms. In a quiet, soothing voice the Old Dwarf said, “You will be safe with me as long as you do not touch green.”
Each day the Old Dwarf repeated the ritual until the boy understood the importance of the boundary around their home.
Years later, when the boy had grown into a man, a tree fairy considered his morning routine and grew curious about him. One morning before dawn, as she sat high atop a tree keeping watch over the forest creatures, she watched the man skipping across the meadow with so much ease that she almost mistook him for a light elf, but not quite, as his ears were obviously human.
She admired the man’s poise and strength, leaping from one rock to the next with a heavy pack, but she didn’t understand why he traveled the way he did.
Curious, she flew toward him and landed on a stump beside his path.
He stopped out of respect. He knew fairies were powerful and had a great dislike for being ignored. “May I help you,” he said.
Her wings fluttered and folded behind her. “I’m curious to know why you travel the way you do.”
The man turned his head and looked at the pack on his back. Assuming she was referring to the reason he carried a heavy pack when only going for a day’s journey, he said, “I leave before breakfast so I can get to work on time in the city. There’s no time to come home for lunch and I get back home after dark. So, I take my breakfast, lunch and dinner with me each day along with other supplies I need for my job.”
She giggled. Her cheeks turned pink. “I should have been more specific with my question. Why do you skip on the stone path instead of taking a carriage or riding on horseback? You could shorten your travel time to half an hour and lighten your burden in your pack.”
He furrowed his brow. The brightness drained from his eyes as he tilted his head. “I thought fairies were the wisest of creatures. Do you not know that green is dangerous?”
She stood up taller. Her wings took on the glow in the moonlight. Her voice reverberated. “Who told you this?”
“My father, the Old Hermit Dwarf.”
“Where is this dwarf?”
“He died a few years ago.”
Her voice softened like a warm breeze. “Good sir, there’s something you need to know. You’re missing out a great deal of good life because of the lie the Old Dwarf told you.”
The man’s body stiffened. “I built this path after my father died. I carried each stone on my back one by one until the path stretched from my home in the forest all the way to the city so I could get to work without touching the dangerous green. My father had no reason to lie to me. He wanted to me.”
“He was protecting himself as all hermit dwarves do.”
The man turned his face away from the fairy and jumped off the stone where he was standing. His body, agile and strong from years of leaping and landing for hours every day. He descended on the next stone just ahead like a butterfly landing on a flower petal.
The fairy flew in front of him.
He jumped to the next.
She flew faster and hovered two stones ahead of him. “Sir, green is not dangerous.”
“Why are you lying to me? I was told fairies were incapable of lying.”
The outline of her body glowed brighter than the sun rising in the distance. Her voice deepened. “You are correct. Fairies cannot lie and dwarves only tell the truth when it serves their needs.”
He pushed hard off the stone under his feet and leapt over the green.
The fairy waved her arm and pointed to the next stone in front of him.
Mid stride, he had no choice. He couldn’t pull back to the stone he left, nor could he launch himself farther to reach the next one beyond. He squeezed his eyes shut, expecting fire to ignite from the green when he landed.
His toe hit the ground first. Using his back leg, he caught his balance. Squatted down, preparing to leap for the next stone.
But he didn’t jump.
Instead, his fingers frolicking across the cool, wet green beneath him. The corners of his mouth curled into a smile.
The fairy flew to his side, squatting down on the grass without making a sound, the radiant edges of her frame fading to a soft white. “The Truth offers you a new life.”
His face softened as this new reality took hold of his heart.
1 question for you
Who are you listening to?
Exploring Truth Through Story,
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