There’s a current praise song playing on 91.9, our local Christian radio station.   I think the title is Slow Fade.  It includes the words from a children’s song…Be careful little eyes what you see…Be careful little tongue what you say…Be careful little ears what you hear…    These thoughts are especially appropriate as I recall a pre-teen named Joanna.  

 Joanna was innocently looking for a halloween costume online.  She wanted to be Hermoine (sp?) from the Harry Potter stories.  An ad at the online costume site caught her eye.  It was an ad for the ‘religion’ Wicca.  She was intrigued and, at age 11, Joanna decided to turn her back on her Christian upbringing to become a Wiccan (follower of Wicca).    Be careful little eyes what you see…

How could this happen?  I’ll tell you how.  Just before her discovery of Wicca, a girl at church told Joanna that “a girl like her (Joanna) didn’t belong at church.”  Be careful little tongue what you say…Be careful littel ears what you hear…  

Can you imagine how that would make you feel?  Can you imagine how it would make an 11-year old child feel?  So, feeling she didn’t belong at church, she sought for a sense of belonging somewhere else, and happened upon the site for Wicca.

Joanna was keeping her new religion a secret from her mother, which tells me she must have known deep down that it wasn’t the right thing to do.  What worried me so much for Joanna was that she was obviously very impressionable at that time and had allowed the ungodly influences of others to persuade her to turn her back on Christ.  I prayed and prayed for her, often asking God to be patient with her and allow her time to realize her mistake, and also prayed that she come back to Christianity.   I encouraged her through emails to not give up on God because He wouldn’t give up on her.  “Oh, I still believe in God”, she would say.  I found a little relief in that and hoped she would continue to keep doors open for Him. 

I eventually lost touch with Joanna, something I regret.  My computer went out and I didn’t have her email info anymore.  I think of her every year at this time since it was at Halloween that someone’s unkind tongue chased her away  – and her eyes tempted her to be led astray – from Christ. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I hope Joanna has found her way back to you.  Her story makes me fear for other young people who are searching for a sense of belonging and search in all the wrong places, not knowing that their true sense of belonging is with You.  I pray that this story will remind us of how important our words are.  They can build others up, or tear them down.  And let us also be reminded that temptations are all around us to distract us from You.  Help us to avoid letting those things pull us away from You; and please also help us to encourage others in Your love – that they might not stray away.  In Jesus’ Holy name I pray.  Amen. 

About Wicca:  Wicca claims to be a religion, but books I’ve read and research online indicate that Wicca is a type of witchcraft that denies the existence of God (instead they worship spirits) and includes voodoo and sacrifices. They refute that they worship Satan because they don’t believe he exists either.  Some wiccans admit they view Christianity as mythical.   Other Wiccans claim Wicca is a ‘peaceful’ religion, but even the ‘peaceful’ followers are not of God/Christ.