“Does it matter to a man dying in a desert by which choice of route he missed the only well?” –C S Lewis
This quote caught my attention on Twitter and reminded me, as a Pastor, that going back over someone’s life’s mistakes isn’t the road to healing.
Yes, the past matters in regards to not making the same mistakes, but what’s important isn’t that we get a full confession and an admission of guilt. What is important is that I am the water bearer and the struggling soul needs a cup of cold water, not a lecture.
The Pharisees completely missed this. They, as Jesus said,
“You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” Matthew 23:24
Rather than rejoice with the man born blind that he can see again, that grill the whole family about whether he was ever born blind.
They became angry at Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. That’s why Jesus said,
Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27
Sadly, many people would rather hear, “You were right” than “Thank you for the water.”
We must get the order of things right. Care first, talk later.
I am learning this even more in the life of one of our kids. This student is not on the right path at the moment, They’ve missed the well many times. What he needs right now is cold water. He’s dying for living water and I am committed to giving him that in the present. Grace and love does not mean weak and stupid. I understand the choices he’s making is wrong, but I also know how God has dealt with me in my time of missing the well.
God has rebuked me in my sin and said, “Let’s move on.” It was his kindness not his judgement that drew me back to him. I am committed to this same kindness to all who are struggling and wayward.
It would sound insane if I came upon a car crash and asked the person in the car, “How did this happen?” or “Didn’t you know you were suppose to have your seatbelt on.” Sounds pretty callus, doesn’t it?
It’s no different in the case of a soul in chaos who just wants you to call 911 and get them some help.