013A - Whitewashed

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

From “In the Midst of Thee” – volume 1.

In our daily struggle to overcome the big sins, once in a while it helps to remember the little ones too. So I begin with a question: Where would we be if God got offended as often as some of us do?

Some time ago I was with a group of young friends. After several hours of intense meetings, we decided to get out of the cabin and have a good old-fashioned football game, girls and all. Now picture if you can a dozen or so people bundled to the hilt in winter clothing in a tackle football game in several feet of snow. I was by far the old man of the group, but I joined in. On one of the first plays, I caught a pass and was instantly knocked off my feet into a snowdrift. They had no mercy for the old man.

Well, the game went on. The competition was fierce and the hits were hard. The girls in the group tackled as hard as they got tackled. I’m sure all of us got our chimes rung a few times, but no one complained and we had a good time. The most noteworthy thing to me was that no matter how hard they got hit or whitewashed in the snow, no one got angry – not even close.

At the conclusion of the game, as we were walking back to the cabin tired and cold, one of the guys still feeling rambunctious tackled one of the girls, and in spite of her protests buried her face deep in the snow. She came up spitting and sputtering! I thought she was going to hit him. He jumped up laughing and went after another girl, and similarly whitewashed her.

Now, just a few minutes later, one of the guys had stripped off all of his snow clothes and was standing on the porch in socks, gym shorts, and a tee shirt, when along came our problem child again and shoved him out into the deep snow, forcing him to do the cold-toe-two-step.

I watched all this with keen interest to see how my three wronged friends would react. Would they get offended? To my surprise and delight, none of the three got angry, and they had had more than sufficient provocation. But each of them – and I watched this – each of them made a decision to shake off not only the snow, but the anger. They chose to laugh, and they went on and forgot it.

In spite of 14 hours together in cramped quarters with intense interaction, we were better friends at the end of the day than at the beginning. Why? – and this is a key – a lot of laughing, and no offense taken.

Now my dear friends, being offended is natural, but – but that’s just it. It is of the natural man, not the divine man. If we want to, and by the grace of God, we may become quick to laugh, slow to anger, and a light unto the world. After all, getting offended is just like getting a head cold. It’s just like what my grandmother used to say – it just makes snots out of people.

Glenn Rawson – February 1999
Music: Whitewashed – Michael Leavitt
Song: Friends – Michael W. Smith