Help! I’m On Fire!

I read an interesting quote from that out-dated comedian Garry Shandling. Remember him? He passed away in March of this year. It made me sad.

He said, “I met a beautiful girl at a barbeque, which was exciting. Blonde, I think—l don’t know. Her hair was on fire. And all she talked about was herself. You know those kind of girls It was just me, me, me Help me. Put me out ”

It got me thinking. This seems to be the response so many of our Christian sisters seem to get when they are dying inside. They have been torn apart emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes physically. They have been broken and battered and torn down over and over again. Pornography, brutality, reviling, drunkenness, adultery. They have to live with it every day. And finally, they may come and tell us about it.

And what’s our response? “Oh. You again? You always talk about yourself. Why can’t you ever think about anyone else.”

But in Shandling’s bit, who is the real narcissist? It’s the one who is so self-absorbed he can’t even see that this poor woman is on fire!

How can we tend the sheep when we don’t even notice that they are on fire? They come to us broken and bloody and turned upside down, and we heap on them even more scorn and shame instead of putting out the fire!

For those who have a hard time making the connection, take these examples of counsel that I have actually heard.

“Pastor, my husband hit me last night.”

“Why did he hit you?”

“Because dinner wasn’t ready when he got home.”

“Well, let me have Mrs. Pastor show you how to manage your time so that you can get dinner on time”

Or, let’s take this one:

“Pastor, my husband stays up all night in his study watching pornography. it makes me feel ugly and useless.”

“I see. Have you made sure that you are satisfying him  in bed? Have you tried fixing yourself up a bit?”

So vile, so narcissistic, so contrary to Christ! Jesus requires us to be wise enough to see that someone is on fire. If we can’t do that one thing, perhaps it is time to retire our frocks.

Just some thoughts I’ve have lately.


Filed under Pastoral ministry

5 responses to “Help! I’m On Fire!

  1. A good analogy. So often, others think that the victim smiling on the outside must mean that everything is okay? Not at all. We’ve learnt over the years that when they ask, “how we are?” … It is just a polite conversational question. They really don’t want to hear, again, that the situation is still terrible.
    So, we smolder inside; inwardly dying; the flames still burning because no one really wants to deal with the fire of sin.

  2. chuck

    Have enjoyed reading your blog, kinda heavy on the guys though, how about examples of women sinning against guys for a change. While physical abuse is the worst, the church and our homes are full of women who mistreat the men in their lives.

    • Chuck – I would have to disagree that “physical abuse” is the worst.” It has taken many years to finally realize that my ‘quiet man’ was using others along with his own tactics to emotionally abuse me and control me. Emotional abuse produces deep internal wounds; liken it to internal bleeding that many in the medical profession say can be deadly.
      In our promiscuous society which includes the church many sexually abused remain silent because they are too embarrassed to expose it for fear that they will be considered ‘prudish’. It’s sickening and I’ve lived it. AND from my counseling experience, sexual abuse is equated with physical abuse.
      The situation finally materialized to the point that counselors both Biblical and secular said I must stop ‘protecting’ the abusers in my life; my physical health was suffering, too. This has created even more heartbreak as some shun me and don’t believe me.
      I have had to leave “the church” because of this. The man I married no longer proclaims ‘a faith’ now that the adult children favour him.
      Counselors have agreed with me that many would have more compassion if my bruises were on the outside and in the past I would tell ‘him’ that I wished he would just beat me up and throw me out the door so others could see his true colours. (we now live in silence; which is what he has always desired – he ravaged my youthful body and now he no longer desires me)
      As for men being abused? Yes, it happens and believe me some of these same women within the ‘c’hurch are the ones who drove me away from the so-called sanctuary as they favoured my ‘quiet man’ and couldn’t possibly believe me when I attempted to confide ‘my life.’
      I apologize for my lengthy comment. My wounds are ongoing as I want desperately that Christ be glorified. I am still ‘here’ … healingInHim.
      I am greatly encouraged to men like Sam Powell and others who are proclaiming Christ’s work of restoring the broken-hearted.

    • People always write what they know. I know that women sin. But what I deal with constantly is the abuse of women and children by men who are either ignorant of scripture or just wicked. The purpose of these articles is to teach those who have learned false theology to understand what the scriptures actually teach.

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