Friday, May 28, 2010

Papa Didn’t Say “Oh.”

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion…” (Psalm 145:8)

I have a friend who was working in his home office one evening, trying to get some essential paperwork done. His little girl, who was about four years old at the time, was playing around his desk, puttering about, moving objects here and there, pulling out drawers and making a good deal of noise.

My friend endured the distraction with stoic patience until the child slammed a drawer on one of her fingers and screamed in pain. “That’s it!” he reacted in exasperation, as he escorted her out of the room and shut the door.

Later, her mother found the child weeping in her bedroom and tried to comfort her. “Does your finger still hurt?” she asked. “No,” the little girl sniffled.  “Then why are you crying?” her mother asked. “’Cause,” she wailed,  “when I pinched my finger, Papa didn’t say, ‘Oh!’”

Sometimes that’s all we need, isn’t it? Someone who cares and who will respond with kindness and compassion. Someone who will just say, “Oh!”

There is indeed One who knows our deepest sorrows, for he was made like us in all respects apart from sin. He is the “fellow–feeling human God,” George MacDonald said, who has suffered as we have suffered and who understands like no other. He is full of compassion and comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).

He waits to be gracious.



gcorron said...

Sometimes that's all we need? What a weak, watered down form of Christianity, if you can call it that. There's no gospel in that message. The comfort we receive is found only through the hope of the true gospel.

Jesus identified with us in his life, not in his death. Jesus did not die on the cross to to "feel our pain." He died to accept actual punishment for our actual moral guilt, whether we felt good or bad about it. (Eph 2:4-5, 1 John 4:10) To teach a watered-down, man-centered, emotion-centered gospel is to leave people in a comfortable state of ignorance and narcissism, destined for hell (1 Cor 15:1-2).

dskn said...

Well....I do think that Jesus in His death does care about all our pain. The pain (and failures) we all experience are different and for this little girl, the pain she felt was great even if the incident was small on the grand scheme(her perception of he Dad not being concerned). Life is not all about great pain and great failure. Sometimes small things over and over cause great pain and failure over time. Thanks be to God that He identifies with me at every step and turn. If that is watered down gospel, may I be soaked over time. The ultimate hope is always found in the gospel, but thank goodnes the gospel is relevant to every life event, big or very small, where we need God (and that's all the time is it not?).

gcorron said...

Our little pains and failures are simply petty anxieties, which God commands us not to have (Phil 4:6). God promises more hardship and pain for the Christian over time (Phil 1:29) who is willing to suffer for his sake. The trials God sends are meant for our good, to strengthen our character (James 1:2-5) so we may be "perfect and complete", to squeeze out every last bit of self-pity and conceit (2 Cor 12:7), not so he can show compassion and sympathize with us.

Hunky-Dory? Life is not always "hunky-dory," as David Bowie and my father would say. Jesus agrees: "I did not come to br...