Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Do You Do When Others Fall?

      Well, you have heard about Brittne and Dwayne’s favorite stories: that leaves Bryce and his wife Kristen who both would pick this one as their favorite. The scene changes now from Montana to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. What that means for me is that I do not have any ice and snow to blame for my falls! One summer day when Bryce and Kristen were dating they were going to one of their favorite fast food restaurants for lunch. They asked me if I wanted to go and since it was my favorite restaurant too and I never refuse time with my children, I accepted their invitation. They came to the house to pick me up. Bryce was driving my car and instead of pulling into the driveway, for some reason he pulled into the yard at the end of the sidewalk that came from the entrance of the house. I fumbled out of the house, trying to hurry for my impatient teenage son. Our dog, Shem, followed me out of the house, so with great frustration, I turned around and went back to the house to put her back in the door. Now I was hurrying even more. As I recall my impatient teenage son was enjoying using the horn on my car. There was a space of yard between where the sidewalk did a 45 degree angle to the drive and where he was parked in the center of the yard. Well, that small space of yard had a booby trap! There was a hole in the ground, covered up by grass! I understand that I have told so many of these stories, there is no suspense at this point; you know what is coming! I found the hole. However, what is different is the fact that I did not go down to the ground! I couldn’t because the car stopped me! When I found the hole, it projected me at a high speed forward. I knew that my face was fixin (for my none okie friends, that means getting ready) to smash into the front seat passenger window. I instantly put my hands up to protect my face. My hands stopped my face from going through the glass or from taking the impact. My hands took the impact and my face just touched the glass. However, the impact was hard enough to knock me backwards to my favorite position; on my back and onto the ground! Now you would think that two children, who claim to love me, would be concerned and would jump out of the car instantly to come to my aide. All they managed to do was to get the car door open. They couldn’t move due to the uncontrollable laughter that had consumed them! (Dwayne: Even I laugh when I read this one! You should hear Bryce tell this one! lol) They kept trying though. They would say, “Are . . . laughter, laughter . . . you . . . laughter, laughter . . . okay . . . laughter, laughter, laughter?” Actually, I don’t remember them ever being able to get out of the car. After I rolled around on the ground for awhile (Dwayne: Remember, something is broke!), I managed to get up, crawl into the back seat, and listen to them laugh all the way to Taco Bueno! I admit, I laughed too! We all had crazy images in our heads we just couldn’t stop laughing at. I remember seeing their hilarious expression of surprise when I hit the glass and they remember seeing me like one of those suction cup dolls with their face smashed into the glass.

     Because I love them, I did not trust their behavior, I trusted their hearts and knew they did not want to see me hurt and they weren't finding joy in the fact that I fell, yet again! Yet, many times in life we do like seeing certain people fall spiritually. We boast about how they deserved it or how we knew it was going to happen. Sometimes we even declare how we are glad that they are finally getting what they had coming. I have even caught myself happy when I see someone I was jealous of loose the thing I was jealous of. Somehow, I feel better when they are more like me! Other times we feel justified in our joy when the person who falls is someone we consider evil. Somehow we feel that God must be happy too when an evil person has consequences to pay. What we forget is that each person we find joy in watching fall, is a creation in God's image. Even if it is deserved, even if it is justified consequences, a parent never enjoys watching their creation fall.
    Have there been times you rejoiced over the fall of another? If you have a child, have you ever been angry when someone laughed or was mean to your child, even if they had done something wrong? How do you think God feels about our joy over the fall of one someone He created? Ask God to help you see them the way that He does! Oh, God . . . give me eyes to see what you see!

     Don’t laugh when your enemy falls; don’t crow over his collapse. God might see, and become very provoked, and then take pity on his flight.
Proverbs 24:17-18

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