Awakening a Keen Observer

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I came across this story as I was reading some old Theology Today articles. (reference below)
Here was the quote that caught my heart.

Some worn and familiar stories persist because they touch us truly; so it is with the old story of the child who was sent to the neighborhood store on an errand. She did not return when expected, and her father, going out to hunt for her, encountered her just arriving home. The child explained she had been delayed because she had come across her friend, who had dropped her favorite china doll on the sidewalk.

"It was all broken," she soberly told her father.

"I'm sorry," he responded. "It was nice of you to stay and help her pick up the pieces."

"Oh no," she said, "I stayed to help her cry."

That is caring for the soul.

Perhaps that is what we are all to do.... to be with people however they need us. The child in this story didn't try and "fix-it" as we might all have tried to do. Rather she touched the person whose life was changed in this breaking. How can we learn to be with people who have broken parts of their lives and resist the urge to fix it? Oh come on, you know you do this too, I just bet you do.

We can do this if we get out of ourselves and our own egos that say, "I'm so good I can do anything." and abide with those who need us to say, "I'm here."

Fixing may come at some point but only after we have earned the right to give. What we can do is receive the passion, the care, the joy, the sadness, the hope, the mercy, of those around us and to give it back to them. Then we can reach out to the world that in many places seems broken and work to make it better. We look for big time solutions to problems. You can tell this by the ads on TV. Here's something that is broken in this world, it may be your hair, or the shine on the kitchen floor, but we've got the solution, for a price.

The only price in staying with someone is that our time will have been spent for the heart of another and not on ourselves. This is a good deal in any language.

Stay... with those who need you to be with them, not to fix them, or to tell them we've also been in the same place, but just to share the tears or joy.

God abides

Bobbie Giltz McGarey


Article by Brownie Barr Jan 2007 theology today


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home