Honey in the Lion's Carcass: A Guided Conversation for Disordered Eating Recovery

(ה) ... וַיָּבֹ֙אוּ֙ עַד־כַּרְמֵ֣י תִמְנָ֔תָה וְהִנֵּה֙ כְּפִ֣יר אֲרָי֔וֹת שֹׁאֵ֖ג לִקְרָאתֽוֹ׃ (ו) וַתִּצְלַ֨ח עָלָ֜יו ר֣וּחַ יְהֹוָ֗ה וַֽיְשַׁסְּעֵ֙הוּ֙ כְּשַׁסַּ֣ע הַגְּדִ֔י וּמְא֖וּמָה אֵ֣ין בְּיָד֑וֹ וְלֹ֤א הִגִּיד֙ לְאָבִ֣יו וּלְאִמּ֔וֹ אֵ֖ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָֽׂה׃ (ז) וַיֵּ֖רֶד וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר לָֽאִשָּׁ֑ה וַתִּישַׁ֖ר בְּעֵינֵ֥י שִׁמְשֽׁוֹן׃ (ח) וַיָּ֤שׇׁב מִיָּמִים֙ לְקַחְתָּ֔הּ וַיָּ֣סַר לִרְא֔וֹת אֵ֖ת מַפֶּ֣לֶת הָאַרְיֵ֑ה וְהִנֵּ֨ה עֲדַ֧ת דְּבוֹרִ֛ים בִּגְוִיַּ֥ת הָאַרְיֵ֖ה וּדְבָֽשׁ׃ (ט) וַיִּרְדֵּ֣הוּ אֶל־כַּפָּ֗יו וַיֵּ֤לֶךְ הָלוֹךְ֙ וְאָכֹ֔ל וַיֵּ֙לֶךְ֙ אֶל־אָבִ֣יו וְאֶל־אִמּ֔וֹ וַיִּתֵּ֥ן לָהֶ֖ם וַיֹּאכֵ֑לוּ וְלֹא־הִגִּ֣יד לָהֶ֔ם כִּ֛י מִגְּוִיַּ֥ת הָאַרְיֵ֖ה רָדָ֥ה הַדְּבָֽשׁ׃

(5) ... When [Samson] came to the vineyards of Timnah [for the first time], a full-grown lion came roaring at him. (6) The spirit of the Eternal gripped him, and he tore him apart with his bare hands as one might tear a young goat apart; but he did not tell his father and mother what he had done. (7) Then he went down and spoke to the woman, and she was right in Samson's eyes (i.e. she pleased him). (8) Returning the following year to marry her, he turned aside to look at the remains of the lion; and in the lion’s carcass he found a swarm of bees, and honey. (9) He scooped it into his palms and ate it as he went along. When he rejoined his father and mother, he gave them some and they ate it; but he did not tell them that he had scooped the honey out of a lion’s carcass.

What stands out to you the most in this passage?

Consider the theme of secrecy in the passage. How might this relate to disordered eating?

💬 Texts in Conversation

The Book of Judges (Barry G. Webb, p. 367-368)

In some ways [the lion] is like Samson himself, a beast that breaks boundaries, untameable and unstoppable, driven by animal instincts, and intent on having what its eyes see…

[Samson] tears his prey to pieces, as a lion itself would do…

From “Last Night as I was Sleeping” (Antonio Machado)

Last night as I was sleeping,

I dreamt—marvelous error!—

that I had a beehive

here inside my heart.

And the golden bees

were making white combs

and sweet honey

from my old failures.

What aspects of your recovery journey come to mind when you read these texts?

Do you believe there is failure in recovery? Why or why not?

✏️ Personal Reflection

What is something sweet, figuratively or literally, that you would like to find within challenging recovery moments?

Recovery in Action

Considering your answer to the question above, ask yourself “Why?” three times. Write out your responses. By the third “Why?”, you may have reached an answer that distills a key motivation for your recovery. Return to this in challenging moments.