The Fox and the Little Prince

My son John married his beloved Dave on Saturday, May 14.  As with his brother, Felder, I was privileged to conduct the wedding.

I have done a lot of weddings in my 40 years of pastoral ministry.  I love them!  I did find it more difficult to conduct them for my sons than for others.  I certainly know my sons better than others.  But they also know me, foibles and fortes as we say around our house.

As I always do, I worked with Dave and John to craft a wedding ceremony that would reflect who they are and what this meant to them.  I don’t like just doing it out of a wedding manual.

Near the end of the process, John bravely invited me to include some time for my own personal remarks to them.  I struggled with what I could say to them that would be meaningful, honest, and in keeping with their spirit and values.  It wasn’t until the night before the wedding that I hit on the vehicle for what I wanted to say.  It was The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

This is a book I have long loved but have not thought of for quite a while.  I was reminded of it by a daily devotional that is e-mailed to me ( This little volume is something like a fairytale that is full of rich and tender wisdom.  I loved being able to share some of that wisdom with them, and I thought I might use this space to share it with you.

There is a fox in this story who sets about to teach a young prince the secrets to life and love.  Two of the most quoted lines from the fox are these:

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: One sees clearly only with the heart; what is essential, is invisible to the eye.”

Out of context, I suppose these lines may sound abstract; but in the flow of the story, I find them deeply moving and true.  The apostle Paul would surely

have agreed with the fox, for “Faith, Hope, and Love”—invisible to the eye—are felt and seen only with the heart, and are indeed the most beautiful and essential elements in life.

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