Daily Readings/ Editorial
Scriptures to be read before the sermon on Sunday, September 24:
Monday: Job 7:1-6
Tuesday: Job 7:7-16
Wednesday: Job 7:17-21
Thursday: Job 8:1-7
Friday: Job 8:8-13
Saturday: Job 8:14-22
“What Job Wanted Most From His Friends”
In The Good Listener, James Sullivan wrote about watching the movie, “The Miracle Worker”. It was the story of Helen Keller – the woman who lost both her sight and hearing when she was a young child. Helen had a brilliant mind, but she had no way to get others to understand what she was thinking or feeling. And, others were powerless to communicate with her. It was as though she were locked in a cold, dark dungeon.
As a result, she grew up like a wild animal. She would spit out food she did not like, and if anyone tried to stop her, she would flail her arms and legs in a wild tantrum and bite their hands. In one scene, her grandmother was feeding Helen’s baby sister when Helen entered the room, holding her little rag doll. Wildly, she started to pull on the buttons from her grandmother’s dress. Her grandmother screamed for help, fearful that the baby would be hurt. Helen’s parents and older brother came running. Her father was overcome with grief and cried out, “How long can we put up with this?” Her brother shouted, “She’s an animal!”
In contrast to her husband and son, Mrs. Keller put aside the natural human assumption that Helen was just throwing another tantrum. Instead, she took on Helen’s point of view. She entered Helen’s world and was thereby able to understanding what Helen was feeling. Helen’s mother said, “No, I believe that she is trying to tell us something. She wants her doll to have eyes as well.” So, Mrs. Keller took two buttons and sewed them onto the face of Helen’s rag doll. Helen reached out and felt them and the change in her was remarkable. She held her doll close and rocked it in her arms, then she sat down and was very calm.
James Sullivan commented about how that scene reminded him of something very important - we all desperately need to be heard and understood, especially by the people who are dear to us. Conversely, it is vital that we attempt to hear and understand what others are saying. He concludes that all genuine loving begins with this attentive listening. This is the “dying to self” that Jesus speaks about – the giving up, at least temporarily, of our own point of view in order to see it from another’s perspective. It is what Job wanted most from his friends (6:14) and also what will be needed most from us when we visit those who are hurting or in need.
Join us in the Chapel for Bible Class this coming Sunday morning, September 24, to hear Dr. Virgil Fry, Executive Director of Lifeline Chaplaincy, talk about things that he has learned while visiting those in difficult life situations.