On many evenings our family enjoys walking down the block and talking with neighbors. The kids love playing with their friends and it gives us adults a chance to visit. On one such walk, our daughter, about 3 years old at the time, was petting a beautiful friendly collie while we chatted with the owners. Suddenly she let out such a deep heartfelt wail that I ran to her to see what had happened. The dog had walked away, and there were no scratches or bites or anything else that I could see. I was just holding my daughter trying to calm her down and understand what she was saying in between her sobs. Finally she bellowed, “He peed on me!!”
Sure enough, her leg was soaking wet, and so was my shirt now. It was of course impossible to not laugh and that made matters worse, and I felt for her. So I carried her back home trying to calm her down and reassure her. On the way back home, I told her the story of when I was about her age and a bird flew overhead and had managed to “potty” directly on my head. And how I had to go wash off and take a bath. She laughed at the story and asked me to tell it again. By the time we got home, she was happy and after a good leg washing, change of shirt for Daddy, and a fresh pair of sandals, we were back on our walk as if nothing had happened.
It’s part of how we work. Some people say misery loves company, as if you want others to be miserable too. I don’t think it is that at all. I think it is a fear of being alone. A fear of being the only one who has ever been that way, or felt that way, or had that happen to you. It doesn’t make us feel happy or joyful to know that someone else might have gone through pain and suffering that we have, but it does help to know that someone else has gone through it and come out on the other side, or is going through it and might understand how we feel when we are sure no one else can. It makes it OK for us to feel that way.
There is a reason why we need support groups for dealing with deadly and debilitating diseases. We can’t go through it alone. Recognizing that God made us this way is important. We can always talk to Him and we should. But he also gave us each other, and designed us to serve to each other in strength and weaknesses. When you are in need, don’t be afraid to seek out that help, and don’t be do proud, or too “considerate”, to accept it when He sends it knocking on our door.
Ultimately, he sent another great example for us to look at. There have been times in my life when I realize, “He’s been here”. That God’s son himself has stood here in the dust of the earth and known criticism or scorn or disapproval or maybe even had a dog pee on his leg. He’s been here too and he can understand. Talk to Him, talk to those he sends, and I’m certain you will find someone who understands.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
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