The Wisdom of Hansel and Gretel

The blinking cursor summons me. There are words that I long to put down, but they are in the depths of my heart, longing to get past all the fear of saying the wrong thing.

One is wise these days to be careful what they say.  Words can be misunderstood. Words can be twisted and used as a weapon. Words can not be taken back. Words can also bring life to the reader. But most of all, words can unlock the secrets in the writer’s heart of what he or she really wants. 

Once upon a time I wrote a letter to someone, and they heard what my heart said. They offered me acceptance, kindness, and the connection I was starving for.  But like Hansel and Gretel, I didn’t know at the time I was in the presence of a hungry witch.

Is it any wonder that I write anonymously most of the time?

Today, as I write this I wonder if writing my words honestly will be an invitation for another hungry soul to see my weakness and take advantage. How does one protect their hearts from further harm? 

Our souls long for connection. Given up for adoption at birth, I imagine that even as an infant I longed for the mother who felt she had no choice except to place me in a better home. I don’t blame her for giving me up. I know that she was doing the best that she knew how, but being separated from my biological family caused me to feel disconnected from an early age. 

Like Hansel and Gretel, I stood outside looking inside at the witch’s table, smelling the sweet aroma of delightful desserts  and sticky sweets that caused me to realize I was starving to death.  

The wisdom of the story of Hansel and Gretel, is that when things seem too good to be true, they usually are. But when we are hungry, sometimes our brains go offline and our appetite takes over. Evil uses our desperation and weakness to set a trap for our hearts which are easily led astray. 

As I write this, I can’t help but think about the witch. Was she a victim of her own hunger? Did she believe if she did not eat the innocent that she herself would die of starvation? Or was she just born evil?  The question causes me to remember the choices I made when I was hungry. 

God have mercy on all of our souls. 

I think the most important thing I can ask myself as I write in an attempt to dig deep into the motivations of my heart, is what am I hungry for? And what am I feeding that hunger with? 

I was hungry for such a long time and I didn’t even know it. The desires of our hearts can hide themselves so well.  But our appetite is always there waiting for the smell of the witch’s baked goods. 

I have learned to pay attention to the things that make me hungry and question if they seem too good to be true. Sometimes it takes a while to see if what is being offered is really rotten fruit. 

I believe that there is a lot of rotten fruit being offered in our world today.  Some of it is being disguised as hope. Jesus warned us that there would be strong delusions that if it were possible would deceive even the elect. 

Once one has tasted rotten fruit, the taste never leaves. We cannot unsee what we have seen. Scorched ground does not burn as easily. Sometimes it feels very lonely being able to see things that others cannot see. 

My heart still longs for understanding and connection. But I never want to taste rotten fruit again. I long for the fruit that nourishes and satisfies and produces good things. 

Good things take time and patience to grow. Sometimes we have to smell the manure and trust that God will bring good out of out of evil’s rotten plan. 

Sometimes we have to learn how to be hungry and let it remind us that there is nothing in this world that will satisfy us completely. 

I have walked in and out of more churches these past six years than I ever believed I would. As I write this, I realize I might be searching for something that is impossible to find.  The home my hungry heart longs for isn’t present fully in this world. We can only catch glimpses of it’s light through our broken souls here and there.

True Christianity is taking care of widows and orphans, those hungry souls just like me needing to be fed by those who do not expect anything in return. 

True Christianity is taking care of one another and feeding each other’s souls with the truth that God has given us of how much he loves us. 

I had a dream last night that I was consumed by the love of God. I was totally accepted, totally understood and totally loved. My heart had finally made it home. But then I woke up. And I am here in this world for another day.  And I have a lot of choices to make about what I will do with my hunger today.

God, help us to truly love one another and feed one another so that evil will not take advantage of our hunger and cause us to feed off of one another.

Image from the movie Gretal and Hansel.

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