I have decided that I want to start reading classics and Heidi happen to be the first classic book I found at the salvation army. I was suprised to find how different it is from the movie. While it's been a while since I've seen the movie, the book is different than the movie.
The first difference is when the grandfather receives Heidi. In the movie the directors depict him as mobing about not knowing what to do with the girl, ignoring her, and making little or no conversation. Needing to warm up to her. However in the book this is not the case. The grandfather while annoyed at Heidi's aunt for bringing her in the manner she did, but he doesn't seem directly unaware of what to do with Heidi. He allows her to jump about outside and look at the trees, listen to the wind. They then go in and he asks her to get another bowl and other things they will need for their meal. It is quite late so he then tells her she can make her bed where ever she likes and she of course decides the hay loft would be the best. The grandfather is kind and compassionate towards his granddaughter. It seems he needs no warming up to her.
I was surprised to read at how jealous and distrusting goatherder Peter was. Anyone who drew Heidi's attention from him was a target for his wrath.
The other surprising find was how God was brought into the book. He was brought in by Peter's grandmother, but he was also brought in by Klara's grandmamma. Heidi's aunt come's back for Heidi to be a companion to a rich man's little girl. Her aunt tells her she may return home any time she'd like, however Heidi soon learns this is not true or so it's what the house keeper tells her. During her stay with Klara, Klara's grandmamma comes and stays with them for a long while. In this time the grandmamma realizes that there is something wrong with Heidi. Heidi then tells the grandmamma that she cannot tell for it is a secret (that is what the house keeper told her). The Grandmamma told her about God and that you can tell anything you want to him and he hears you and answers. Well after a time the grandmamma asks Heidi how her prayer was going and had it been answered. Heidi replies; "I have decided to stop praying because it seems that God is too busy, with all the people in frankfurt I can understand why he doesn't have time for my prayers." The grandmamma goes on to tell Heidi that because God has not answered her prayers it does not mean God has not answered. He may have said no for right now, it is not the best time for your prayer to be answered. If her prayer were to be answered right now Heidi may come to wish God had not said yes to her prayer at that time. During this time she learns to read, write, arithmatic. After a time Heidi becomes so homesick it becomes physcially dangerous for her and she is sent back to her grandfather. After being home on the alms for a while Heidi realizes had God answered her prayer when she wanted she would not have learned all she had and would not have been able to teach goatherder Peter to read. She then realizes that God does answer prayers and to trust his timing.
Heidi then also is able to take what the grandmamma has taught her and is able to help her Grandfather restore his relationship with God and with mankind down the mountain. Her grandfathers heart is softened towards God and human kind. She tells grandfather that from now on they will pray everyday and give thanks so they will not forget what God has done and so God will not forget them. Grandfather asks what if we forget him, Heidi replies then God lets the man go his own way. If he complains no one has pity on him for he forsook the Good Lord first, now his is forsaken of God, who alone could help him. Heidi then goes on to tell the grandfather of the prodical son and how the father welcomes back those to come back to him. Grandfathers heart is softened and he returns back to God.
I love the way the Alms have a healing power. Schwanli, one of the grandfathers goats, gives the most nourishing milk. Grandfather even knows where to go to get the herbs to make schwanli's milk that much more nourishing and life giving. I too have found healing in the mountains. Not in the way of goat milk, but none the less God too meets me in the mountains and whispers life giving messages to me, eternal messages of his power, his love, and of his faithfulness to me.
I desire to know the way of the land as Heidi's grandfather did, I desire to be compassionate and observant as Grandmamma is, I want to not be jealous and covet like goatherder Peter, I want to trust the Lord for all things like Goatherder Peter's grandmother, and I want to always remember what the Lord has done for me, so that I will not forsake the Lord, so that he will not let me go my own way.