Sunday, September 6, 2015


I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

Tristran Thorn is on a journey. The protagonist of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust promised anything in the world to the girl he thinks he loves, and she asked for the star that they had just seen fall from the sky, so Tristran takes off into Faerie in search of this treasure. When he reaches the place that he knows the star landed, he finds not a lump of molten rock and metal as he expected, but a beautiful girl in a sparkly dress whose leg was broken in her fall from the heavens.

He claims the star and begins to take her back to his home in the village of Wall, but she is not very pleased to be captured. When at one point she escapes, he fears he will never find her again, especially when sheer exhaustion forces him to sleep beneath a tree. When he wakes, he finds that the tree is talking to him and offering to help him, but having been warned to be wary of everything in Faerie, he is sceptical.

The tree rustled. 'Why don't you tell me your story so far,' said the tree, 'and let me be the best judge of whether or not I can be of help.’
Tristran began to protest. He could feel the star moving further and further away from him, at the speed of a cantering unicorn, and if there was one thing he did not have time for, it was the recitation of the adventures of his life to date. But then it occurred to him that any progress he had made on his quest so far he had made by accepting the help that had been offered to him. So he sat on the woodland floor and he told the copper beech everything he could think of…

I think the same could be said of everyone — we get by with a little help from our friends, to borrow a song lyric, but help is not always easy to accept. Pride gets in the way sometimes, or maybe, like Tristran, we fear the ulterior motives that might be lurking behind the seemingly kind gesture. In the end, though, we have to realize that we will never make any progress unless we accept the help that is offered to us — from family, from friends, from complete strangers, and ultimately, from God. We will never catch our fallen stars without it.

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