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.