There is a guy my age I tried to help. He was an orphan and he became too old to live in the orphanage. So I befriended him, I took him at face value. I asked my Mom to help find him a job. She found him a job as a gardener at my Mom’s friend’s house and I felt good about myself, that I had managed to help someone out, someone who’s story could have been my story coz we don’t choose the families in which we are born. So I was optimistic.
But it turns out he I didn’t know him that well, and he wasn’t a good worker, he lied often and within his first few weeks there he disappeared twice for days at a time. Eventually there was a burglary at my Mom’s friend’s house and they found what speared to be his footprints in the house. He denied his involvement. So now what do I think? What can I learn from this? I am in 2 minds about this. On one hand it affirms the principle that you cannot help anyone who does not want to be helped. But on the other hand there is the thought that this guy grew up with the least family resources in the most unsupportive environment- I mean he had been kicked out of and orphanage and probably had dysfunctional ideas about how the world works. In many ways we are a product of where we come from. Yet I can’t help but feel there is one over arching truth: this is my story too in its simplest form, I too have been afforded opportunities that I blew. Fortunately I had a support system that gave me a second chance, so I could blow it again. Until one day it clicked. I know there are a lot of people who can relate. Yet at the same time I had to make a choice at some point to do the right thing, the responsible thing, the smart thing. But I can’t pretend like I did it the first, I have been afforded a lot of grace. And that is how I have found God treats me. He is both the standard bearer and the Bearer of my burdens, the Judge and the Defender, challenging me to a higher standard while helping me live up to that standard. He does not excuse my weakness, He makes up for it and shows me a better way. Indeed it is a tall order to love as He loves. I cannot help but marvel at His patience and I pray that I may learn to treat my fellow man as He has treated me. Because nobody’s story is ever that simple.