Vol.VI No.II Pg.8
April 1969

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

As the little boy reached for the hot rolls his arm brushed a tall— stemmed, top—heavy water glass, and over it went. A spreading flood raced through the perfect table setting, so prim and precise, and mother lost her cool. She scolded the boy for his carelessness, tossed in a few pointed remards about his lack of manners, and gave his hand a sharp rap when he began to cry. This would have to happen when she had worked so hard to impress a visiting preacher.

And then, just as embarrassed guests were beginning to mince at their food and pick up their previous conversation — just as mothers blood pressure began to level off — the preacher reached for the hot rolls, and over went his water glass. And people think preachers have it easy!

Now — what does one do, or say?? This may be another case like bro. Tants mouth-full of too-hot coffee. Anything one does after that — is wrong. You cant get there from here!

Maybe the preacher, the mother and the boy should retire to the kitchen and have a good cry. It would certainly come natural and the setting is just right for some very close fellowship. In fact, ,with a little prodding the rest of the guests may acknowledge like circumstances in their lives, and the great Brotherhood of Boo-Boo Makers is established.

Perhaps I like nice things as well as the next one, and we need to cultivate the grace and manners that make this crude world bearable; but there seems to be a certain artificiality in a too-perfect situation. There are times when everything is so polished I almost wish someone (not me) would drop the gravy bowl.

Sympathy is a fine thing — to feel for another; but many people do not want our pity. We really begin to get response when we feel with others — when sympathy becomes empathy, and pity becomes genuine compassion. I do not say one should sin in order to understand and appreciate the plight of others in sin; it will be enough to take an honest look at yourself — even when you are trying to do right.

We are a bunch of sad-sacks that need one anothers understanding and encouragement if we are to fulfill our purpose. Next time someone blunders into a man-hole, remember, But for the grace of God, there go I.