Friday, August 17, 2012

Fairy Tales

It’s every little girl’s daydream.  It’s the bread and butter of fairy tales.  A damsel in distress is saved at the last possible moment by a handsome knight, resplendent in shining armor and dazzling white teeth.  Or maybe that’s from some toothpaste commercial I watched recently.
I heard the story on the radio this morning.  A sixteen-year-old girl, happily surfing one moment off the coast of Wales, was swept away by a riptide and caught up in her worst nightmare the very next—stranded, cold, alone.  But her plight was seen by strangers, and their call for help set the stage for a dramatic rescue as a Royal Air Force helicopter circled overhead and crew members rescued the desperate teenager.  Rescues like that are dangerous and thrilling enough, but imagine her shock and surprise when she was brought up into the helicopter and discovered that the pilot was the future King of England, Prince William himself.
It just makes me want to swoon.  Whatever that is.  Maybe swaying with style?
I wonder how many women, like me, grew up reading Harlequin romances, imagining that someday a strong, handsome man would come along, gallantly pick them up in his arms, and whisk them away to a life of love and protection.  And how many of us have failed to realize that it’s not easy to be a knight?
I gave up reading those books when I began to see the unrealistic expectations they built up in my mind.  No man on earth can compare to a fictional hero whose only requirement is to carry the distressed damsel across the threshold of “happily ever after”, leaving the reality of the rest of the story to the imagination of the reader.
Even Prince William didn’t take that girl home.  He already has a wife.
And just like I had to let go of flawed paperback romances, I had to set my husband free to be as much of a normal, flawed human being as I am, his fair maiden.  Why should he be forced to be a Superman when he’s not married to Super Woman?
So what about the days when my heart is breaking, my world is in chaos, and I feel as stranded and alone as that shivering teenager adrift in the Irish Sea yesterday?  There is Someone Who hears my voice, flies in swiftly on the storm itself, “speeding with the wings of the wind,” and reaches me.  He takes me out of “many waters” and delivers me from my strong enemy, because He “delights in me.”   (Ps. 18:6-19)
It’s amazing to be rescued by a king—just ask that young girl in Wales. 
Or ask me.  My King does it every day. 
Well, I’m a pretty good damsel in distress.


(Photo courtesy of katesheets photostream, Flickr.com)

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