Life is messy, and while we are all to some degree broken, sadly, people are often labelled and treated differently as a result of their situations and struggles. Take Humpty Dumpty for example; he will forever be known as the egg who fell. In this edition of our Care Considerations newsletter, we explore and expound on his story to reveal the trouble with our tendencies.
Like so many of us, Humpty Dumpty was living the good life and things seemed to be going well for him. In fact, whenever I saw him at church and asked him how he was doing, it seems he was always “fine.” But then again, why wouldn’t he be? Humpty is a wonderful guy, and he has a great job, nice house, and is equally yoked with his beautiful wife. Plus, if he wasn’t fine, he certainly could have told me and asked me for help.
Well, as you already know, Humpty unexpectedly fell. Knowing how awkward it can be when you don’t know what to do or say when someone experiences a troubling situation, no doubt Humpty is in people’s thoughts and prayers. Right?
Frankly, I shudder at the thought of how helpless and hopeless he must be feeling. I’m genuinely concerned and I have a lot of questions for him. For example, I’m curious about:
- What happened?
- Why was he even on the wall?
- Was there a strong wind that day?
- Are they going to be able to put him back together again?
Though he was prone to wobble, since his accident, instead of showing compassion and offering encouragement, apparently some people, in an attempt to fix him, are giving him advice and telling him what he needs to do. Despite seemingly good intentions, it seems people often forget that our role is to love, and that it is Jesus who is Lord and Savior.
Here’s part of the problem: We saw Humpty as an egg and treated him as such. Eggs, however, are like caterpillars. When the conditions are ideal, they go through a type of metamorphosis and are transformed into something new. Instead of turning to the king’s horses and king’s men to put Humpty back together again, God’s plan was to get Humpty’s attention and use his circumstances so that he might turn to the King of kings, and place his trust in the Lord of lords. You see, God created and destined Humpty to be a bird and to soar with eagles. Sorry Humpty! We intended to help.
Questions for Assessment and Reflection
- Have you ever considered how your attempts to help people may interfere with God’s plan, as opposed to helping to advance it?
- When you’ve faced challenges in your life, did you proactively ask your friends for help? Why/why not? Also, did you know what kind of encouragement and support you needed?
- If you think of the times in your life when you felt loved and cared for, what was it about the people and their expressions that you appreciated most?
- It seems we tend to back away from people when we feel uncomfortable or are unfamiliar with their situations and struggles. Saying “I don’t know what to do or say” seems to suggest that there is a right and wrong response. Is there?
- If you knew that a friend or a person sitting near you at church was facing a tough situation, struggling, or feeling helpless or hopeless, what would you do? Really? What if that person was you? How would you want others to love and care for you?
[This blog entry was inspired by the children’s book After the Fall by Dan Santat (2017)].