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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An Allegory

An Allegory

Once upon a time, a band of feral children wandered into a village of old people.
The old ones were very happy to have children in their midst.
But these wild children resembled animals in their behavior and their language. Instead of speech, they communicated with one another with snorts and grunts and screeches.
Their hair was wild and matted. Apparently no comb had met their heads in many years.
When the gentle people of the Dena Village saw the wild state of these children, they took pity on them.
The villagers tolerated, even indulged the children,
offered them food,
gave them soft beds to sleep on,
Tried to teach the children the language of humans.
They sang and played their instruments to try to calm the wild ones' explosive emotions
But, alas, as hard as the villagers tried to civilize the wild children, their efforts failed.
Instead, the bad behavior of the wild ones began to affect the villagers.
They, too began to screech when frustrated.
They stole instead of paying for their bread and fruit and meat.
Chaos erupted in the town square as the villagers began to imitate the behavior of the wild ones.
For the first time in many, many years, weeping and shouting was heard behind the walls of the huts.
The villagers no longer wore smiles as they greeted one another during the day.

One day, an old, wise member of the village stood in the town square and announced to his friends:
"People of Dena, we have deserted the ways of the former times. We no longer smile, or happily greet one another. We have listened more to the children than the writings of the Elders. We no longer play and sing with joy. We have lied and stolen. No longer peaceful are the homes where we eat and sleep."

A villager cried out, "But how can we return to our former days when we were so happy?"

The old, wise one answered, "We must no longer allow the wild children to run about the village and cause mayhem. At first, we thought we were showing the children kindness by giving them freedom to run about and express their childish nature. But now, do you see how their behavior has influenced our tribe?"

"Shall we dispel the children? " one villager asked.

"No," the wise one answered. "That would be impossible, for they are part of us. We need the children, and they need us."

"What is the answer then?" another villager cried.

"The children must be restrained, " said the wise one.

"Oh, oh, oh," cried the old ones. "It makes us sad to restrain the children."

"But," said the wise one, "if the children be not restrained, we will all be at each others' throats before long. The village will not survive."

So the villagers did as the wise one counseled. They corralled the wild children. They lovingly tended them, fed them, instructed them, and showed them how to be kind to one another.

In time, the wild children came to know that they would always be nourished and loved. But they also learned that the older villagers expected obedience. Within these safe boundaries the children eventually came to behave as well as any good but mischievous child could.

Dena learned this week that unfettered, child-like thoughts have the power to destroy peace in the  village of her mind. At present, the "children" are being rounded up and placed in protective security.
She and her husband are currently facing many unknowns. Just like the peaceful villagers of her story, she made the mistake of allowing her wild imaginings to create fear and unrest within her hut.
As mature villagers, we know that the "children" must never be allowed to reign. They are immature and foolish. The mature Believer rests in the truth of what God says in His Word, not on the capricious whims of the heart.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress,
My God, in Whom I trust." (Psalm 91: 1, 2 NIV Bible)


  1. Dena, this was gripping! I'd like to read more of your allegories...reminds me of Hannah Hurnard's "Hinds Feet On High Places." Blessings!

  2. Thanks so much, Bobbe.I've always loved allegories!

  3. Very creative post, Dena!

    This morning, I was seeing the direct correlation to the amount of time I spend in the Word and prayer to the peace in my heart. Without that communion, my life gets unbalanced very quickly.

  4. Susan, I so agree. He is the vine and we are the branches. Without that daily connection to Christ through prayer and the Word, we start to turn inward instead of upward.