A couple of weeks ago, my friend Katie sent her children to a much-anticipated hockey day-camp. The evening after the first day at camp, as the family ate dinner together, Katie’s daughter, Lauryn, mentioned that both her legs hurt. Lauryn’s brother, Nick, chimed in. One of his legs hurt, too. So Katie went to the medicine cabinet and brought back three Tylenol. As was age-appropriate, she gave one to Nick, and two to Lauryn.
Lauren looked at her mother, rolled her eyes, and said, “Really Mom, I have to take two of these? Nick only gets one.”
Nick was quick to comment. “Duh, Lauryn, two of your legs are hurting and only one of mine.”
Don’t you just love a child’s interpretation of life?
I’m sure we all appreciate being able to dole out medicine according to need. Wouldn’t it be terrible to have to live with a one-size-fits-all medical remedy? Or one-size-fits-all shoes? Or clothes? Or cars?
I do have to admit, though, that sometimes I have a tendency to try to fit my religious beliefs into a one-size-fits-all experience. I find myself judging others because they don’t live their lives according to my spiritual expectations. Shouldn’t everyone serve the Lord the same way I do?
The good news is that, when I get judgmental,God always taps me on the shoulder and helps me readjust my point of view.
Our conversation goes something like this: “So, Sue, in this perfect-world-according-to-you, who would climb up on the church roof and nail on new shingles? Who would reach out to our teens so they understand that they are important to God and important in this world? Who would travel to far jungles and provide medical help for those in need?”
My reply: “You’re right, Lord. I couldn’t do any of those things.”
In the New Testament book of First Corinthians, God warns us against a one-size-fits-all Christianity. Here’s what He says, “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.” (Chapter 12, verse 21) “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?” (v.29) “….and yet I show unto you a more excellent way.” (v. 31) “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.” (Chapter 13, verse 1.)
Ah, the crux of the matter. Love.
When Katie’s children told her that they were in pain, she got up from the dinner table and found exactly what each child needed. She could’ve ignored them, but she didn’t, because she loves them, which is exactly the way God wants us to live our lives. No matter what we do, no matter what gifts we’ve been given, in God’s perfect world, it’s all about love.
Story by Katie Wood, Photograph copyright, Katie Wood, 2014.