“Where’s Papa going with that ax?”
So begins the tale of Charlotte’s Web and the salvation of a little pig named Wilbur. More than a story of friendship, Charlotte’s Web is a story of mercy.
You see, Wilbur was a runt. As such, he was not likely to survive. Feeding him would waste much-needed nourishment that could go to strengthening the other, healthy pigs. Wilbur was destined to die the moment he entered the world. And Papa was on his way to expedite the matter.
But Fern stepped in. “’I don’t see why he needs an ax,’ continued Fern, who was only eight.” (Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, ch.1). And she proceeded to convince her father to give the runt to her. She fed him from a bottle and pushed him in her baby doll carriage. She was heartbroken when it came time to sell him to her Uncle Homer.
And so, once again, Wilbur found himself destined for slaughter. You do know what happens to pigs around Christmastime, right?
But Charlotte stepped in. She wove intricate (some would say miraculous) webs to draw attention to Wilbur’s qualities.
The mind-boggling thing about this was that Wilbur didn’t have any qualities that set him apart from other pigs. He was just a pig.
But he was a pig with a friend. And his friend was determined to save him from a timely death simply because she loved him.
You and I are just humans. There’s nothing particularly attractive about us. On the contrary, “You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3, ESV)
We were destined to be slaughtered like little runty pigs – or like fat Christmas pigs.
“But God, being rich in mercy because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5, ESV)
God saw you when you were at your smallest and weakest. God saw you when you were a pathetic, lonely pig, whining from the manure pile. And God loved you. When you were at your worst, He befriended you. And He came up with a plan to save you from a well-deserved death.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13, ESV)
Never forget that you are God’s friend.
The ax holds no power over you.
Leave a comment below!
Know someone who would be encouraged by this? Please share!
Sign up to have my free weekly devotions
delivered to your inbox.