The plans of discarding all that is right and true
The one night stand
Think outside the box that you find yourself in.
Joseph had to. He had to look for more than childhood dreams. They just weren’t working out how he had envisioned them. The prison box that he was held captive in did not house the dream that was in his heart.
All he had left were hopes and dreams, and you know? They were probably too small.
What box, what pressure cooker are you living in? Perhaps, the very thing creating all the pressure is forming you, for the better, the best.
Don’t you just love/hate when someone gets removed from a situation then they begin to downplay, minimize, or outright falsify the story. “It wasn’t that bad they say.” This forms a pattern and often happens in a cycle of abuse. Once they are out of the terror of the moment, they capitulate and regress on their resolve, and back on the merry-go-round, they go again.
Joseph didn’t get that chance. He moved from bad to worse, to worse, to worse again, and then he was plunged into the worst of it all. He didn’t have time to capitulate or regress. Can you hear him, “You intended to harm me…you actually meant to hurt me… How come you hurt me, you are my brothers? Why don’t you love me?” then around it would go again. Joseph’s cycle was dealing with the facts, not pretending they didn’t happen.
What does your dysfunctional family of origin have in common with my dysfunctional family of origin? Well, the question says it all. The question is entirely answered in another’s dysfunctional mess of a family story; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is our modern version of this ancient story.
Joseph’s father’s obsession, just one of his dysfunctional characteristics, was how the family portrayed themselves to the world. His dad cared more about their family image than what atrocities the family’s boys had inflicted.
We see in this biblical family mess upon mess, insult upon injury, and imbalance upon outright off-centeredness. If you look up the word dysfunction in the dictionary you will probably find a picture of the “Jacobites,” all the boys, the sisters, the four moms, and of course Jacob himself. This is the home (tents) that Joseph grew up in.
Since foundations are critical; since beginnings often dictate the race; or as the idiom would say, “Once a cheater, always a cheater,” Joseph conservatively had the deck stacked against him.
All of that was in play before the story that we have come to know:
Joseph, the dreamer
Joseph, the big mouth kid
Joseph, the tattletale
Joseph, the favourite
Joseph, the hated
Joseph, the throwaway
Joseph, the left for dead
Joseph, the sold
Joseph, the …deck stacked against, come from a mess, sold into a mess; somehow became second in command in the Egyptian Dynasty/Empire, dream fulfiller, and vision caster.
What a story.
What a metaphor.
What a future; that we can mine hope out of these ancient pages.
I’ve seen frazzled from quite a few different angles and vantage points this last week to 10 days as our city of 88,000 had to flee their homes and jobs to save their lives.
As I sit here to write, I find my focus and concentration are somewhat challenged. Things have changed.
I saw my role as ‘Helper’, and so I did. I started helping from where I was.
We weren’t in the evacuation because we had already left a few days earlier, but our son was, we felt helpless and watched as the stories and reports came in. My family was displaced and scattered. I wanted them together with hugs. So, I started doing what I could with Facebook, email and texting, tracking other people’s safety. More than a few onlookers immediately responded as I confirmed their loved one’s safe exodus. Everyone was on pins and needles. Conversations, phone calls, words of encouragement, all flowed from heart, phone and keyboard wherever I could.
Then the second night it hit. I lay down at the end of a long day and all of a sudden it dawned on me, “I am a refuge.” I was ready to help others and see perspective for them, but I wasn’t prepared to be one who himself wondered worried or needed help.
Now several days later, in the hub of activity, I have spent the last few days helping connect people and resources. Tomorrow I’m leaving. I’ve been called back to work so I have to help once again from a distance.
Life has been big for a lot of people this past week. No. Life has been huge for people. It’s been huge for those who have lost and are displaced; it’s been huge for those who have realigned their schedules to take them in. Life has been huge for those who help. Everyone is trying to cope and help.
So? Pray. Pray for those around you. Pray for those you know here and at a distance. Pray for their situations and challenges. But, don’t forget to pray for yourself. Don’t just cope, pray. Frazzle starts to dissipate and settle when you pray.
Let me help you start. “Lord I’m frazzled, I need your peace…”