Here’s a good one from Lee! Check it out…. -anita
My wife has managed to get me involved in a TV series, Call the Midwife,that I’ve struggled to watch. There are many child births, of course, but I can handle those. What depresses me and vexes my spirit is the inhumanity depicted at some points in the plot.
This is set in London’s East End in the 1950s, amid much poverty, overcrowding and depravation. One episode stood out starkly to me and literally upset me. One character– a man whose wife was very caring for him and quite submissive — went out of his way to berate, demean, and physically abuse her. I’m not quite sure why this particular character and his actions bothered me so, but I found myself literally hating him for the way he treated her. Now, before you rush to tell me this is just a TV series and is not real, I would say that I certainly get that fact. And, are there many, many other mean and hurtful acts perpetrated on real people every day? Of course there are. But there was something so undeserved in the way this dear woman was mistreated by someone who should love her, her spouse.
After the conclusion of the episode to which I’m referring – and after I’d calmed down somewhat emotionally – I began thinking about this hateful character. I began to think about this character and how I might relate to him if I encountered him in real life. I then tried to put the man into what I call “Jesus terms.” How would our Lord relate to this fictional character if encountered in real life?
Clearly, the Bible teaches us to love and care for our family, friends, and neighbors. [Lev 19:18, Mt 5:44, 1 Tim 5:8] And especially our wives. [Eph 5:28] Certainly, our Lord was kind to even the gravest of sinners. Yet He could be absolutely angry with some people, like the Pharisees, when He castigated them for their actions toward the people. [Mt 23:1-26] As I tried to picture in my mind an encounter between the Lord Jesus and this man, I got some interesting images. Keeping in mind that I’m talking about a fictional character here (but a character most assuredly representative of many, many real men), I can picture Jesus putting his arm around this hated and hate-filled man. Jesus, as God, would know the very things that drive this man’s pain; and undoubtedly, this man was in great pain. People don’t just act by chance in the way described here—there’s a reason for their anger and abuse. And it’s usually because they were first abused themselves; it’s the only way of life they know.
As I thought long about how the Lord would interact with this man, my view of him softened. I could feel some of the pain that emanated from his character. And most of my feelings of hatred toward him slipped away. This is complicated stuff, just because we’re all so individually complicated. People are many-faceted with complex backgrounds and relationships that form our present character. I would venture to say that none of us know one another completely—there’s too much there to absorb.
But there is One who does know us better than we know ourselves. His name is Jesus. And He loves us.