Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas Monikers (and a cat in a box for your viewing enjoyment)

Something online reminded me of the story of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Oddly, that statement has vanished from the blog on which it originally appeared.

In a post about the evils of what she believes to be gossip, a Blog Host posted a response in the comments section of her article in reply to someone's inquisitive comment. Therein she stated things that she intimated but did not want to come out and state directly, possibly over the concern that people might identify her direct statements as gossip??? She then communicated her (?gossip?) by giving all the players the names of characters from Seuss's books.

I've really got to thank her. I so fondly remember absolutely loving "The Cat in the Hat" when I was little. I would have had my mother read to me from morning 'til night, constantly before I learned the skill myself. Aside from a little book called "The Wolf and the Seven Kids" which my mother could quote in her sleep, "The Cat in the Hat" was my favorite second, but I remember very little of the specifics of the story. I was so relentless, that my parents, on a very limited income, bought a cassette player for Mom to record the books for me (so that she could get back to being a passionate housewife). I remember not liking the tape recorder thing very much, but I was all the more motivated to learn to read for myself.

I am eternally grateful to all that she sacrificed in order to read to me, over and over and over again. I have been unable to find the author of a poem she used to quote that says "Wiser I am and greater I'll be, for I had a mother who read to me." She was valiant in doing so, and I hate to think what I would be without her efforts. I don't think that the implied effects of that poem are all that evident in comparison to her efforts.
"The Wolf and the Seven Kids" was about an evil wolf that, despite the mother goat's wise instruction about how to spot wolves, deceived her seven baby goat "kids" while she was away. That wolf uses some very clever, deceptive tricks to break into the home and devour all but one of the kids. With the wolf asleep in the backyard of mother goat's house, the one little survivor who had hidden in the base of a grandfather clock told his mother what had happened. Mother goat goes into the yard, cuts open the belly of the (apparently very profoundly tired wolf), liberates her children who were saved from being swallowed whole. The kids find six rocks to replace in the void of the wolf's stomach, and the mom sews the wolf shut (before he wakes up) with the sewing kit that the kid who hid in the clock brought to her. The wolf awakens saying "What is this that knocks against my poor bones? I thought it was kids, but it feels more like stones!" He thirstily hobbles over to a well to draw out some water and falls in - to his death - instead. Mother goat and her baby kids join hands and dance around that well, rejoicing that their foe had been conquered, all resulting from the effects of his own actions.

That great story in particular taught me so much about discernment as well as the message that no matter how careful and diligent you are, there are troubles in this life that cause us grief and unavoidable danger. Recalling it now, I am struck by the kids in the story and how they were swallowed yet remained alive and well. Like those kids swallowed whole, I had also been swallowed up into a religious system that was very wolf-like, but the Lord sought to pull me out alive. I have often pondered just how I was deceived by this church and their teachings, but like this story, wolves can be very good at deceiving their prey. How sadly ironic that such a thing would happen to me... in real life.... as an adult.... in the fellowship of friends.... in the Name of the Lord.

This little memory jolt has given me a great deal of hope. In that book, I always wanted to be the grand helper like the little kid who hid in the clock as I listened to the story. I loved the calm resolve and instruction of the mother goat who delegates to the kid to fetch her sewing kit. I loved the idea of the obedience of that kid, for I so love to comply. I've had much experience doing this in critical care situations when lives were at stake. I realize now how much of those same feelings I had in those situations, when a doctor says "get the rib spreader," with all the reverent seriousness of that mother acting under pressure to save her children.

I'm also reminded that He who drew me out of the miry clay and the many waters of spiritual abuse alive can do the same for all others who love Him. I'm humbled to think that by writing here (in a place that doesn't really exist) that I am somehow bringing Him a sewing kit. That I am interceding for my fellow sibling kids who are trapped, the victims of deception. I am alive to tell how the wolf coated his black hands in flour and dough to make his hands look like the mothers hands to fool those kids... How he ate chalk to soften his voice so that it would be just like the mothers voice. I am all the more hopeful that my favorite nursery rhyme and story has reminded me of the sovereignty of God. I rejoice in anticipation for the day when all of us will dance in unity when the real foe falls to his eternal destruction.

And another funny thought for those who might know about the disappearing blog commentary...I'd only briefly read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" as if given the choice, I'd read "The Cat in the Hat" instead. (I'd completely missed the name reference.) During our first Christmas season after our wedding, my husband and I watched the "Grinch" cartoon on TV.

He then unofficially bestowed the name
"Hoo" upon me
for you see
my father named me
"Cynthia Louise"