Dream word – HOPE
“If she vowed in her husband's house, or bound herself by an agreement with an oath, and her husband heard it, and made no response to her and did not overrule her, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement by which she bound herself shall stand. But if her husband truly made them void on the day he heard them, then whatever proceeded from her lips concerning her vows or concerning the agreement binding her, it shall not stand; her husband has made them void, and the Lord will release her. Every vow and every binding oath to afflict her soul, her husband may confirm it, or her husband may make it void.” NKJV.
Searching for grovel hogs
When people told themselves their pasts with stories, explained their present with stories, foretold their future with stories, the best place by the fire was kept for, The Story Teller!
These are the opening lines of Jim Henson’s television series called The Story Teller, which was first produced in 1987. This remake of some ancient European fairy tales, was brought to life by integrating excellent animation, Jim Henson’s puppets from his creature shop, brilliant acting and some of the best writing you will ever come across.
The magnificent screenplay for The Story Teller was written by Anthony Mingella, however, for this series of nine stories, it was John Hurt who, playing the part of the Story Teller, stole the whole series with his even more magnificent performance! I kid ye not, it is so good that if I had my way I would make the watching and study of this whole series, mandatory in every homiletic class, in every Bible college and seminary throughout the world! For when it comes to learning how to fish for hearts with words of wonder and communicating those same wriggling and wondrous words in an enticing and enthralling way, John Hurt as the Story Teller is the most heaven sent homiletics professor I have ever heard.
The first story of the series is called Hans my Hedgehog. It is the ancient tale of an enchanted boy called a grovel hog, who returns a lost king to his kingdom, and his reward for so doing, is “the first thing that comes out to greet the king upon his return”. Of course, the first thing to greet the king is not his dog as he expected but rather, his most beautiful and precious daughter, the Princess of Sweetness and Cherry Pie! How very Jepthah-esque.
Now, this same Princess, in marrying the grovel hog discovers on their hog like honeymoon that the horrible grovel hog actually turns into a handsome Prince after midnight and if she but keeps the secret of his midnight metamorphism, then on the third night of their wedding, her faithfulness and true love will break the spell forever! Of course the Princess of Sweetness and Cherry Pie spills the beans of the grovel hog’s enchantment, breaking her promise and causing him to seemingly disappear from both her life and the face of the earth forever.
For years, The Princes of Sweetness and Cherry Pie walks and walks until she wears out the soles of three pairs of iron shoes, always looking for her husband until she eventually finds him, “catching him up in her arms, snoodling him and hugging him to bits”.Her once red hair which had turned white in her relentless and unremitting pursuance, now runs with red life once more, as her now expressed love for the grovel hog finally finds him, holds him fast and breaks the enchantment forever.
The story finishes with this wonderful redemptive statement:
“And so the princess who could not keep her promise, won back her husband through looking without hope of finding and holding on for dear life. And in time, her hair grew red again and there was another wedding all over.”
“Looking without hope of finding and holding on for dear life.” Really, is there any better phrase for describing pursuing love, for describing the mad faithful praying and the deep soul longing for a lost loved one, daily expressed in both prayerful pleadings and active pursuance. I think not.
I am sure that some of you tonight are the breakers of promises and of maybe one precious promise in particular and I wonder if because of this, you might also hold someone in your heart, with sadness and with tender regret, that is for now, lost to you.
If you have any desperate strength left within you, I want you to continue to look without hope of finding, and continue to hold on for dear life. For who knows, maybe tomorrow you too will come upon your lost grovel hog, catch them up in your arms, snoodling and hugging them to bits until the dreadful enchantment, made stronger by the broken promise, will be removed forever and the redness of a life renewed, will flow into your holy hair once more.
I need to say to someone tonight, “Keep looking, keep hoping, and keep holding on,”for who knows, the rejoicing and the renewal of another wedding, may still be in the offing.
Listen: “Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; And to You the vow shall be performed. O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come.” - Psalms 65:1-2NKJV
Pray: O God our husband, thank You for making null and void the hasty and impetuous vows we have made in Your house. But Lord, forgive our broken promises, especially those that have brought curses upon ourselves and upon others. Please forgive us O Lord. Now my Great Pursuer, I bring to You my lost loved one. Hopeless, I come to You! Helpless, I come to You! Help me to find them and love them despite their anger, that all curses may be broken and life, rich and red, would flow down once more upon all our tired heads. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
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