Saturday, April 18, 2009

Let's Face It: Hecklers at the Wall

There were hecklers among them. Their purpose? To keep the wall from being built. It didn't matter that Nehemiah had the King's written permission to be there. It didn't matter that he was indeed doing a good thing. "Good" was a relative concept. And so, they were there, ridiculing, criticizing, and mocking the Jews. Criticism is never easy to take. Sometimes criticism comes from the outside, other times it may even come from those we trust. Either way, criticism can be hurtful. ESPECIALLY, when you are trying to do a good thing.

One example: delivering triplets.

We chose to give our babies life. I chose to carry them, with great risk to my own life. We chose to honor God and not kill his creation. No fertility drug was ever able to "create" life inside of us - as we had over a year of failed attempts on these drugs. It was my Creator that chose to allow me to conceive four children. In His sovereignty, He also allowed me to only deliver three babies. His choice - we just cooperated. But, all it takes is one trip to Wal-Mart to really see the different perceptions of doing a "good" thing. Sometimes, our "wrecking crew" is greeted with smiles and praise. Other times, looks of disgust and whispers. "Good" is often a relative concept.

Another example: the coaching profession.

From "hero to zero," that is the unfortunate phrase that describes my husband this baseball season. And in record time no less. My husband's baseball team has had two stellar baseball seasons until this year. In fact, the last two years have been the most successful baseball teams the school has seen in the past 10-15 years. Last year, he got to wear the hero uniform. Few parents complained as the team was winning and being successful. This year, he has been sporting the "zero" uniform. Criticism gone awry to say the least. How I wish that these people could see the big picture! How I wish they could see a Christian man who sacrifices nearly ALL of his time with his own family to be with THEIR children. How I wish that they could move past "playing time" and perceived "missed" opportunities and see the man that I see. The man that wishes their kids would succeed more than he desires success for himself, the man that prays for their children even if they don't themselves, a man that cares more about the lessons baseball can teach a kid than the amount of runs put up on the scoreboard. A man that tries to strike a healthy balance: good habits, good behavior, while still teaching them good baseball skills. Again, "good" is a relative concept.

I love the story of Nehemiah. I love his resolve to finish a task inspite of ridicule. I admire the fact that he didn't even stop to defend himself (as I always want to defend myself to my own critics) - he just kept building. I am strengthened by the fact that while half the men did the work of rebuilding, the other half held weapons to defend their work. {If you could see me, I am holding a sword as we speak!} I esteem him for his courage to ask the King in the first place to take on such a task. And most importantly, I love that not only did the wall get built, it got built in record time, with few laborers.

Although, your life will always be filled with hecklers, God fights for his own. He will never let us be put to shame.

"May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace." Psalm 35:26


Jan said...

Preach on Sister!