The sun was setting, and Hansel and Gretel were lost and hungry in the dark woods.
Grimm’s famous fairy tale can be scary, yet it delivers an important message of hope and confidence in the words that Hansel says to his sister: “God will not forsake us.”
In our everyday lives, we often find ourselves lost in the proverbial woods, and worse, many times we don’t even realize it. Sometimes we can even think that the chaos and unending noise of this world is normal, that it’s our home.
Have you lost yourself or are you on a journey home?
How many of us are constantly searching for the next big thing? Or are we just overly concerned with the things of this world?
Sometimes we are hungering after an elusive “something else,” yet that hunger never seems to be satisfied.
But this hunger — this ache — is God calling us out of the chaos and back to Him. As it says in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts….” Or, as St. Augustine poetically articulates, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
Hansel promised his sister that God would not forsake them, for they were on a journey home. And this is their saving grace. This acknowledgement of the need for God and complete confidence in Him is the light that leads them out of the woods. They know they are on a journey; there is something more. They never sever themselves from their ultimate calling.
Likewise, we must share in a similar recognition:
- We are made by God, and we are made for God. Heaven is our true home. And our life on earth is meant to be our journey —our pilgrimage — home.
- We must detach ourselves from worldly desires and attach our hearts to God.
- We must cultivate the virtues of faith and hope to fortify us for the journey home.
As St. Therese of Lisieux reminds us, “The world’s thy ship and not thy home.”