Archive for the ‘The Little Prince’ Tag

The Little Prince and the Triune God

 The summer is a time for reading all manner of good books, and I just finished a classic novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupery called The Little Prince.  Although this book isn’t a religious book, I think it has a lot to say about our relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Published in 1943, this fairy-tale story chronicles the travels of a little prince from his tiny asteroid home to other asteroids or planets where he meets and converses with adults who often show the most pointless aspects of being a grown-up.  Eventually, he lands on earth, where he meets the narrator of the story, a pilot downed in the middle of a desert, running low on water and trying to repair his plane.  In addition to meeting various grown-ups, the little prince meets a fox who educates him in the full implications of “taming:”

            But if you tame me, then we shall need each other.  To me, you will be unique in all the world.  To you, I shall be unique in all the world. 

The fox explains that being tamed or taming is the process of forming a relationship, and that in this relationship, each party views the other as completely special.  When the little prince confesses that he himself has been tamed by a rose, the fox shares the secret that “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Although it is invisible to the eye, we have been “tamed” by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  To them, we are individually unique in all the world.  Just as the little prince viewed his rose (which looked like any other rose) as special, so we are seen for the one-of-a-kind creations that we are.  The little prince explains to the look-alike roses that they could not be his rose:

            You are beautiful, but you are empty…One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you…But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses:  because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing.  Because she is my rose.

The fox explains to the little prince “it is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important,” and so it is the time that the Triune God has invested in adopting and including humanity in their relationship from the foundation of the world that makes us so important.

The fox also charges the little prince not to forget that “you become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”  As we look at our relationship with the Father, Son, and Spirit, we should take heart that there is nothing we have to do to make this relationship work, other than enjoy it.  The Triune God is responsible for us, for our salvation, for our inclusion forever because we have been “tamed.”

The little prince had to travel a great distance to learn from a fox that what really matters isn’t always seen with the eyes, and that when you make a friend, both of you are “tamed.”  The fairy-tale story of The Little Prince helps us to see the intricacies of our relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit from a new perspective.

         ~by Nan Kuhlman

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