Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wise at Heart

bleeding heart

A wonderful childhood friend of mine (who apparently lurks here, and wishes I would post more... oh, I'm sincerely sorry I've been slacking, for I've been working so hard on my... uh, book) loves to read.

Sometimes she shares titles with me, especially good young adult and children's titles. I am a good listener, when she so speaks.

That's why I'm having my seven-year-old read me The Ugly Princess and the Wise Fool.

Here's an excerpt that I thought could give us something to think on, both as writers and as leaders of all kinds.

"At that time all wise men wore long white beards, small round spectacles, and black robes, and they always carried leather satchels filled with important papers. They were easy to spot in a crowd. The other people in the kingdom didn't like wise men because they used ten words where one would do, but weren't of any use in a crisis, so nobody felt sorry when King Irwin made them stay indoors.

There, the wise men moped and sneered just as unpleasantly as they had done outside. It didn't occur to most of them that if they just changed their clothes and cut off their long white beards they would be able to go out in the streets again without being recognized. Or possibly they were so proud of being wise men that they would never have dreamed of giving up the image..."

My daughter read that passage. Then she looked up and said, "They must not really be wise men!" Wise child, to see the heart of things.

Photo of Bleeding Heart, on the way to my Secret Place. L.L. Barkat.

Seedlings Invitation: If you write a post related to this post and Link It Back Here, let me know and I'll link to yours.


From Shannon's no-nonsense blog (I think he shaved off the beard without regret): Visceral

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Blogger Charity Singleton said...

Who we think we are, or who we would like ourselves to be, is so hard to give up. Even when it means staying indoors and missing out on all the joys of the kingdom. Boy, do I have some robes to remove and a beard to shave. (Figuratively, of course!)

By the way, LL, I'm praying for you, so hard at work on those final edits!

7:34 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

Your little ones really are so wise. I love the stories you share about them.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Ted Gossard said...

That reminds me of Jesus's words about God hiding his treasures from the wise and learned and revealing them to little children. We all need that sense and wonder of a child!


8:20 PM  
Blogger Shannon Cobb said...

I hope I shave everyday. Not in the literal sense but in this literary sense. Thanks for this great post.
And thanks for the link.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

LL, your daughter is great. Really. But she doesn't think these were wise men??? Um, hello.... white beards.

10:39 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

What a fantastic insight. It reminds me of when Jesus denounced cities who had witnessed miracles but were still unrepentant (Matt. 11).

Following this Jesus says, "I praise you, Father ... because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." (v25)

I suppose for a child it is much clearer than for one who is all too attached to the vestiges of "wisdom". How does it become so easy to become fixated on the long black robes and impressive scrolls?

Thanks for the post.

10:41 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Charity... isn't that odd that we sacrifice what could be for what is, even if what is isn't so great? Thanks for your prayers. I'm tired.

Christianne... thanks, and it is a reprieve to just share their lovely, simple thoughts.

Ted... so how do we get caught up in the beard and briefcase thing?

Shannon... ah, brother, you seem to.

Craver... yeah, all the fairy tales say so.

Kirsten... maybe it's a bad cycle. I use a big word, someone else feels obligated to use one in return. I start speaking in Hebrew or something. You know?

3:59 PM  
Blogger Every Square Inch said...


Good post! Here's the phrase that got me -

...they used ten words where one would do...

Why would they do that? Perhaps to impress others with some insight rather than seeking to bless them. What a sober reminder of what true wisdom looks like.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Miriam said...

LL, thanks for popping by my place to say "Hi." That brightened my day...I was not feeling so alive as you. :)

Wonderful post (I must find that book!), and lovely photo of the bleeding hearts.

11:19 PM  
Blogger A Musing Mom said...

Okay, now I want to know how the story ends. From the title I can guess that one who was supposedly a fool is actually wise and these wise ones were fools. Humbling indeed.

11:13 AM  
Blogger kirsten said...

LL - I think I know what you mean. I often fall into the temptation to use big words, not because they are a part of my everyday vocabulary, but because I think it sounds smart to use big words. Maybe I think I'll be taken more seriously or sometihing. It's part of my long black robe & white beard I suppose.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Ted Gossard said...

I dont' know about the wisdom part on my part, not always "wise" and never so in myself.

But it goes to show what can happen when you have a good wife. My wife grew tired of my beard I had for four years and had to learned to keep neatly trimmed as well. I cut it off! (several years back)

I'm developing that venerable chrome dome. I had my wife (who cuts my hair) trim it short. I asked for that again, and she got carried away so that my chrome dome really looked like a full-orbed one (it's not there yet). So my wife consented, even after trimming my hair for some time, for me to take a razor to my head. Now I look like someone from another place. At least not from my residence, anyhow.

I'll have to see how this works as to the image people have when they see me. Will it mean that they listen a little closer, or mark me off as one of those trend followers? (woops, I got carried away in all this fluff of mine!)

9:02 AM  
Blogger spaghettipie said...

Sounds like a great story, and I'm with AMM, I want to know what else happens!

Also, I love the picture!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Llama Momma said...

LL - you came to mind this afternoon; I pray that the tedious work of editing your manuscript is going smoothly!

7:59 PM  
Blogger HALFMOM said...

Wonderful post - especially after attending a collge graduation yesterday with lots of pomp and circumstance.

9:15 AM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...

l.l. ....just popped over to say hello and i hope your mother's day was wonderful. i have been lax in making the rounds....this is my first spring of blogging, i started last october. it takes different forms when the weather gets nice, doesn't it? :) hope the book is coming along well....

8:09 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Every Square... ouch! I think I sometimes suffer from that... seeking to impress rather than bless.

Miriam... it is hard, isn't it, to watch the life of spring when we are not feeling so alive in ourselves?

A Musing... yes, do get the book from the library. It's a fun read and sobering for we who think we're smart. :)

Spaghetti... like every good fairy tale, there's a princess and a quest and a twist. But this one is great comic relief too.

Halfmom... I hear you. :)

Blue... definitely. I want to be outside! And my brain... oh, it likes to dream in the sun.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Lloyd Irving Bradbury said...

now if i wear a beard and a white bears i am to be laneled? Does not your actions prove your words/ I am wise and humble and i stat it to all.

9:55 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Lloyd... I got a good chuckle over your publicly stated wisdom and humility (raises the question if one can be conscious of one's good qualities and even speak of them without negating them!).

9:05 AM  
Blogger Marcia said...

I have to read that book after reading your post. Thank you. Wonderful stories and the wisdom of children are always appreciated.

12:45 PM  

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