Stuck in a Ditch

A short story by Bridgett

Stuck in a Ditch

The ground where she lay, chilled her back. Towering dirt walls rose above her on both sides. White clouds floated out of her reach on a background of the bluest of blue.

She shouldn’t be here. A smooth path ran through the ditch and curved around to places unknown to her. Why was she here? She should be above.

Jumping to her feet, she searched for a way out. Though her eyes stung from the plume of dust, she dared not close them for fear of falling further into the caves she glimpsed down the ditch’s path. The walls were steep. Too steep to climb. The canyon floor was smooth against the bottom of her feet as she walked along the walls looking for footholds. She must escape. She had to get back to where she belonged. Though she couldn’t remember exactly where that was.

In her haste, she stumbled and fell. She couldn’t get out of here on her own.

Faint voices came from somewhere down the winding path of the ditch. As the sound of other people grew louder, the hope of freedom flittered within her.

The voices grew louder. She ran down the path. Around a curve stood many others stuck in this same ditch. Running up to them, she asked them for advice. “Excuse me. How do I get out of here?”

Another girl sadly shook her head. “There’s no way out. We’re trapped here until we die. Better make the most of it.”

“No. That can’t be true.” She ran to another. “Please help. I don’t want to be down here. How can I get to the surface?”

“I don’t know miss. I’ve never tried to leave. Though, I don’t suppose you can. But don’t cry. I was born here you see. It’s not so bad.”

The girl heard a cry behind her. “Help! Help me! Don’t leave me here! I want to live!”One was clawing at the steep dirt wall yelling at the top of her lungs. Her filthy hands grabbed the wall and tried to climb. But the dirt fell away. The ditch became wider but just as steep.

The girl turned to see one clawing at the steep dirt wall yelling at the top of her lungs. Her filthy hands grabbed the wall and tried to climb. But the dirt fell away. The ditch became wider but just as steep. “Help! Help me!”

“Stop it!” The other’s screamed. “There isn’t a way out! There’s no hope! There’s no way out.”

All hope the girl had vanished as she watched the one continue to cry for help. She wanted to cry for help with her, but she needed the other’s help to survive in this ditch. She didn’t want to make them angry. Though she remained silent, she wondered to herself. Was there no help for them? Was there truly no way out? Would she ever hear the clear song of a bird? Would she never feel the wind blow through her hair? Or feel the sun warm her face? Could she never rest her feet in a bubbling brook, or run barefooted through soft grass? Did those things even exist? Would she forever live in the dark, dingy ditch?

“Is there no hope for me?”

Another moved close to her side. “There’s no need to complain. It’s not so bad down here. There are jewels. Come look! I’ll show you.

The girl followed the others down the ditch’s path. Darkness grew with every step as she descended into the earth. She glanced back at the dim ditch where the one was still screaming for help. She should go back. Maybe there was a Savior?

“Come see!” The other’s called as they pulled her toward a strange light.

Colorful jewels of all shapes and sizes sparkled and flashed. The kaleidoscope of colors mesmerized her making her forget the darkness of the cave and the depth of the ditch. It was more than lovely.

When she came to herself, she once again lay on the cold ground of the ditch. The wind from above whistled softly. Something was missing. The screaming one had stopped crying for help.

But, where was she?

No one knew.

The girl walked along the ditch walls searching, looking for the one who wanted help, and searching for a way out.

“Come. Let’s go look at the jewel’s the other’s called.”

Her life became a pattern. In the cave, the bright colors of the jewels gave her mind a brief escape. But every morning, she’d found herself still stuck in the ditch. Every day, she’d looked for the one who’d screamed for help. And she asked the others how to get out of the ditch. She was given a variety of answers.

If she could only jump high enough.

If she could learn how to fly.

Or perhaps, if she could control the jewels, she could transport herself to the surface.

She tried all these things. Nothing worked. Hopelessness crept into her soul, and she died a little more every day.

One morning as she opened her eyes, dreading the thought of another day trapped in the ditch, she looked past the dirt walls toward the sky. She saw the one who’d cried for help walking along the edge of the ditch in freedom.

“Please.” The girl begged up above her. “How did you get out of here? How can I get up there?”

One smile gave the girl hope.

“You can get out. If you cry for help. The savior will hear, and He’ll rescue you.”

A shadow passed as the one above her moved away from the ditch.

The girl jumped to her feet and ran to the wall. “Wait! Help me! Don’t leave me here. I want to live.”

Over and over she cried. “Help! Help me!! Don’t leave me here. I want to live.

Her cries awoke the others. “Hush!” They screamed. “There is no way out!!”

But the girl now knew differently. There was a way out. She didn’t know who this Savior was, but she knew He was out there. If he could save one, He could save her. She didn’t care what the others thought. She had to live! She must live! She looked toward the sky and cried louder. A hand stretched toward her. Miraculously, He reached down into the ditch, all the way down the steep walls, and pulled her to the surface.

A hand stretched toward her. Miraculously, He reached down into the ditch, all the way down the steep walls, and pulled her to the surface.

Tears of joy ran down her face as she beheld her Savior. He was real. There was a way out. He was the way. All she had to do was cry for help, and He had found her. Oh, how she wished that she’d asked for help sooner.

 

***This is not the end, but only the beginning of the girl’s story. But first, here are a few things that we can learn from her.

  • All of us at some point have been stuck in this ditch called sin – which by its simplest definition is separation from God.
  • Most of us want out of the ditch. However, most of us are taking advice from the wrong people and looking for help in the wrong places and things.
  • Some allow the jewels of pleasure to convince them the ditch isn’t that bad.
  • Some think they can climb out on their own.
  • Some dream “if only.”
  • Some say it’s hopeless.
  • We must be careful from whom we take advice. If others are stuck in the same ditch as we are, they can’t help us get out.
  • Even if you don’t know the Savior, He will save you when you cry out to Him. He will reach down and pull you out of your sin.
  • After you get out of your ditch, your freedom will inspire others to call out to God.
  • You can’t save them.
  • If you try, they will pull you back down into the ditch.
  • Tell them about your Savior and encourage them to cry out to Him.
  • After your salvation, as you continue to walk in the light and love of the Savior, you will experience joy, peace, and blessings like you never imaged.

***I was once the girl in the ditch. I tried every way possible to get out on my own. I took some bad advice. Allowed the shiny things of sin to convince me the ditch was fun. But one day, I cried out to Jesus. Others told me to shut up. Possibly because when I cried for help, it exposed the lie that their sin was not that bad.

Jesus heard me. He reached down and saved me. Now, I follow Him down life’s pathway with joy, love, peace, and freedom.

You can, too.

Even if you don’t know who Jesus is, cry out to Him and let Him save you from the ditch of sin. And if you have been saved, tell others to cry out to Him.

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. ~ Psalm 40:2-3

 

 

Fairy Tale Friday – Humpty Dumpty

Fairy Tale Friday - Humpty Dumpty

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
Four-score men and Four-score more,
could not make Humpty where he was before.”

*Published in Juvenile Amusements by Samuel Arnold in 1797

Who is Humpty Dumpty?

In American nursery rhymes, he is depicted as an egg, but the earliest published version gives no description of Humpty. In fact, the original poem was thought to be a riddle. The question being. Who is he?

Without a doubt, this rhyme originated in England. However, there are many theories put forth for consideration throughout the years. Some say Humpty was King Charles I, or King Richard III because Humpty Dumpty was slang for a short, clumsy person. One theory suggested that Humpty wasn’t a person at all, but was a canon at the church of St. Mary’s At The Wall in 1648.

One thing is clear, this rhyme reads like a victory song, taunting a loser—Humpty Dumpty.

But who is he?

Let’s take a closer look.

He’s sitting on a wall. Which could mean that he’s elevated himself above others? He has a sense of importance. I would say it’s a false sense of importance because he’s sitting and not standing. He isn’t repairing the wall. He isn’t using the height of the wall to scope out the land. He isn’t surveying his surroundings for the enemy. This shows me an arrogant, conceited person looking down on those around him.

Next, we see him have a great fall. He wasn’t pushed. He wasn’t shot off the wall. He fell. It takes an extremely clumsy person to fall while sitting down. Or a drunk one.

I’d like to propose that Humpty Dumpty was a drunk. Or a drug addict. Now, here me out. When you are under the influence you have an inflated ego. You think you are invincible. Have you ever heard the term ten-foot-tall and bullet proof? Most drunks (I was once one of them.) feel good. So, they think they look good. They think they are good. But in actuality, while they are stumbling around everyone is laughing and making fun of them. Eventually, they will fall.

“Four score men and four-score more
could not make Humpty where he was before.”

This phrase could have one of two meaning. It could mean that during his fall Humpty was so badly damaged that he was beyond repair. Or it could mean that he learned his lesson, and no amount of men (peer pressure) couldn’t make him drink again.

Have you ever been drunk on a wall like Humpty?
Have you fallen?
Did you learn your lesson?
Or, are you still letting people talk you into climbing back up on the wall?

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses. And all the King’s men.
Couldn’t put Humpty together again?”

They are many of you reading this today who have been delivered from an addiction. Please don’t climb back up on the wall. Please don’t go back to your old life. The King’s men can’t help you stay sober, but the King can. And though you may love another Humpty Dumpty, you can’t force them to stay grounded. Just be there when they fall, and tell them about the King that wants to help them.

If you still think my analogy of Humpty Dumpty as a drunk is a little farfetched, consider this:
The Oxford English Dictionary (1857) defined Humpty Dumpty as “a drink made of brandy boiled in ale”. You can translate that as being a shot of whiskey in a glass of beer.

Don’t be a Humpty Dumpty!!!

and it fell: and great was the fall of it. Matthew 7:27

 Fairy Tale Fridays are posted on the first Friday of the month.

The Ugly Duckling

The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen

The Ugly Duckling. Illustrated by Vilhelm Pedersen. Written by Hans Christian Andersen

 

The Parable of The Ugly Duckling

In the original version of The Ugly Duckling written by Hans Christian Andersen the bird was first believed to be a turkey by his mother who could plainly see he was different from her other children. However, since he could swim, he was judge to be a duck – an ugly duck.

Everyone he met tried to make him into something he wasn’t. They ridiculed him for possessing natural instincts that were different from theirs. They didn’t understand him. They didn’t know who he was. They didn’t know who he was created to be.

He wanted the freedom to swim and to fly. But according to the world, since he couldn’t purr or lay eggs, he was useless.

He wasn’t a turkey.
He wasn’t a duck.
He wasn’t a goose.
He wasn’t a cat.
And he wasn’t a hen.

He was useless.
He had no purpose.
No one wanted him around.

So, he secluded himself on a pond and avoided all the other birds. One day, a flock of swan swooped in. Oh he wished that he was as beautiful as them. He felt a connection with the swan, but he thought he was too ugly to join them. He stayed in the freezing pond while they flew to the sunny South. Bit by bit the water froze until he lost all freedom to swim. He barely survived the atrocities of winter.

But when summer arrived, the swans returned to the pond. He joined them thinking they would kill him, but they welcomed him. When he saw his reflection in the water, he realized who he really was – a beautiful swan.

Then he felt quite ashamed, and hid his head under his wing; for he did not know what to do, he was so happy, and yet not at all proud. He had been persecuted and despised for his ugliness, and now he heard them say he was the most beautiful of all the birds. Even the elder-tree bent down its bows into the water before him, and the sun shone warm and bright. Then he rustled his feathers, curved his slender neck, and cried joyfully, from the depths of his heart, “I never dreamed of such happiness as this, while I was an ugly duckling.”

There’s ugly inside all of us. To varying degrees, we’ve all suffered pain and shame of some kind. But thank God we don’t have to live in misery. 

You’ll never satisfy this world. Don’t judge yourself by the expectation of others. Look into the reflection of the word of God, and see who you were created to be.

Stretch your neck out and cry joyfully unto the Lord. Even if you’ve never dreamed of such happiness, Jesus is waiting to transform your ugly past into a beautiful future. Let Him remake you into who you were created to be: a beautiful, precious child of God.

 

But by the grace of God I am what I am: ~ 1 Corinthians 15:10
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: ~ Psalm 91:4

 

Click here to read the complete, original manuscript of The Ugly Duckling.

Because of the amount of SPAM received, I’ve disabled comments for this post. However, you may share this post to encourage others with this story.

Little Miss Muffet’s Parable

 

During my morning devotion as I was drinking coffee. On my favorite loveseat, minding my own business, not hurting anybody, a huge spider ran out from under the entertainment center. He stopped in the middle of the living room floor, and totally freaked me out.

My first thought was, “Not in my house devil.” So I ran toward the kitchen for the fly-flap. But then I thought, “That thing is huge. If I swat him, he’s gonna jump on me, I’m gonna scream, and the whole house is gonna wake up.” So I grabbed a bottle of bug spray out from under the sink, and tiptoed back on the battlefield.

The enemy was back in hiding. I put down the bug spray and reached for my Bible. But I could feel imaginary hairy legs crawling up my arm. I looked to make sure the creepy crawlies were all in my head.

Yet, that spider was real. Where was he? Did he go back under the entertainment center? I spotted something under the coffee table and stooped for a closer look. Nope. I breathed freely as I stared at the piece of potato peel. Where in the world did that come from? When’s the last time I cooked potatoes? And why’s the peel in the living room?

A shadow moved out the corner of my eye. And then disappeared. The enemy was still out there; somewhere.

Try as I might, I couldn’t enjoy my coffee. I couldn’t get lost in God’s word. And I wasn’t about to close my eyes to pray.

That one spider, destroyed my sense of peace and distracted me from my alone time with God, Why?

It’s just a spider.

Though huge, it wasn’t much bigger than a quarter. What if it came out again? What’s the worst that could happen? It might try to bite me, but I’m bigger. I’m armed with not only a fly-flap, but bug spray. And my husband’s rubber boots are near the couch. I could stomp the thing.

Most of the danger was all in my head. What if the spider crossed the room? What if he climbed on the loveseat? What if he crawled on me? Those thoughts not only gave me the hebbie-jebbies, but they prevented me from refreshing my soul.

Isn’t that just like the devil?

As a child of God, we ear the protective blood of the lamb. The devil can’t harm us. But he does play mind games with us. He takes that one thing that we are afraid of and drags it in and out of the shadows of our life. He taunts us with “What if?” until we are so distracted that we lose our peace, our joy, and our happiness. He disrupts our time with God, because he knows that’s where we get our strength.

Like Miss Muffet, we allow the devil to frighten us away from the nourishment that we need to grow in God.

What’s the devil using to keep you distracted? What is he using to scare you away from dining at the king’s table?

Now, that you know it’s a distraction and not a real danger, you have 6 choices.

  1. Be frightened away and forfeit your spiritual food. Please don’t let this happen. Every princess needs nourishment to grow in the grace and mercy of God’s kingdom.
  2. Become obsessed with the thing until nothing else matters except stomping, swatting, or spraying the life out of it. In this case the distraction has done its job, because you can no longer enjoy God’s presence.
  3. Recognize it for the distraction it is, ignore it and get back to the important things.
  4. Remove yourself from the distraction. This isn’t being frightened away. This is relocating to a more conductive atmosphere, and then continue with your morning devotion.
  5. Get rid of the distraction. Kill the thing, and move on. Sounds simple right? Sometimes it is.

Each distraction varies. And each one needs to be handled in a different way, but if you keep your focus on God, the enemy will have no power to distract you.

I hope you’ll set aside alone time with God. Don’t let the devil distract you.

What are some ways the devil has distracted you in the past?

 

And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. I Corinthians 7:35