Monday, May 02, 2011

Convo with Pastor - 2 Samuel 12:7

"You are that man!"
2 Samuel 12:7
 
I love telling the story that the prophet, Nathan, told King David. And I embellish just a little!
 
I tell about the sweet little poor family and their wonderful little pet sheep, Fluffy. They bring her into the house, spoil her with scraps from the table, let her crawl up onto the furniture, snuggle with her on the couch, and laugh as she rolls on her back when they rub her belly. Whenever they come home from school or work, Fluffy jumps up and down for joy. It is unconditional love. (Do you get it? I'm describing everybody's favorite dog.)
 
And then horror sets in, when the rich man butchers Fluffy rather than using one of thousands of nameless livestock.
 
"[The rich man] deserves to die!" is the immediate response. That was David's response when Nathan told the story, and that's the response of most audiences I tell it to also.
 
The thing that's curious is that telling the story of David and Bathsheba -- and the eventual murder of Bathsheba's husband Uriah -- doesn't provoke quite the same sense of outrage. Everyone agrees that it's a sad and all-too-familiar tale, but apparently we've watched too many TV mysteries to be properly appalled.
 
Kill a dog/sheep/pet and we're horrified. Kill a person and it's just another story on the six o'clock news.
 
Maybe Nathan was even wiser than we usually give him credit for. In telling a story about poor little Fluffy, he got David to finally admit the vileness of his ways.
 
And only then, could David be healed -- through God's forgiveness.
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who likes pets
but needs to love humans
------------------------
Sometimes it takes hearing a tale from a different perspective to help open our eyes and admit we are wrong. Imagine the look on David's face when Nathan told him he was the rich man who killed the poor family's sheep. Wonder how long it took him to process that tidbit and admit where he was wrong. How long does it take us?

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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