Little Red. We’ve all heard about her, but we didn’t recognize how much we had in common with her. Little Red is the symbol of all who were abused in the home and church in the name of love. Nothing is more sinister than believing we are loved and safe only to be ravaged by wolves in the fold.
Skipping along the path of life, Little Red’s heart is full of love. She is longing for Eden as she reaches out to take the flowers of life God has provided for her, she also knows the joy of giving. She is carrying a basket with homemade bread and jam for her grandma.
She naively doesn’t recognize her grandmother’s wolf-like behavior at first because she automatically assumes all parents and grandparents are safe. This is the experience of many who have been abused by narcissistic parents and false church leaders. Something feels wrong, but in their innocence they can’t figure it out until they have already been abused.
Let’s face it, Little Red thought Grandma’s house was a safe place and so did we. It was shocking to find ourselves taunted and lied to by the people who were supposed to love and protect us. The most sinister abuse is cloaked with the word love–such false love has often confused us because we failed to see the hate coming. Nothing is more damaging to the psyche than abuse in the name of God.
There are many endings to the story of Little Red throughout history and across cultures. Some say she was rescued by a hunter or woodsman. Some say she and her grandmother were both eaten by the wolf, but survived after his stomach was cut open.
My favorite version is among the most ancient. It says Little Red did not depend on anyone else to rescue her. She out smarted the wolf by saying she had to go to the bathroom and he let her go to the outhouse with a string tied to her finger. Out of his sight, she wisely untied it from her finger and placed the string on the outhouse door and ran for her life.
I believe this is the healthiest version of the story because it represents what we have to do when we are under the power of abusive people. There is no violence or retaliation toward the wolf in Red’s escape. She simply knows he is unsafe.
This is similar to how we must treat our abusers. To wish them ill is to harm ourselves. Our abusers are like rabid dogs infected with a virus of survival of the fittest. No matter how much we love them, we cannot fix them. No matter how much you love your dog, if he gets rabies you will mourn him, but it’s no longer safe to play with him.
People are not the wolves, but the wolves come to us in many forms. Their names are Abandonment, Loss, Inferiority, Rejection, Criticism and Shame. The people who call out the wolves in us were once innocent children who were deceived and bitten by the wolves themselves. Once infected by the selfish virus of survival of the fittest, they now continue to pass on the virus and harm others.
I admire Little Red because she doesn’t wait to be rescued. Red realizes she alone can take herself to a safe place. I believe that safe place is with the Maker of the flowers. I believe the Creator gave us brains to remember the pain so we won’t go back to get burned and bitten over and over again.
Our abusers have lied. They tried to say it never happened. Sometimes they say we made things up–that’s code for they don’t want anyone else to know so they wish to discredit us. When people lie, there is no light in them. Two cannot walk together unless they agree. This is where we, like Little Red, can rescue ourselves by using our minds to run away to a safer place. For many that safer place is with Jesus.
Jesus knows everything that has happened to you. He promises to set all captives free. Jesus says the truth will set you free. He not only calls Himself the Truth, but He embraces all truth and He is always on the side of truth. He even sends His Spirit of Truth to comfort us.
This website is to encourage, comfort and support survivors. Like Little Red, we can only protect ourselves by leaving an unhealthy situation. In order to enjoy the flowers God gives to us, we need to stop letting the wolves destroy our lives.