A promise keeper


“Don’t thank me … it’s what I do.”

Says Captain Adorable as he exits stage left having supposedly saved the day but in reality caused absolute mayhem.  A children’s programme and a character written and performed for children.

The character is played to the same formula each time.  In fact each of the different characters are all played to the same formula each time.  Because most of us can laugh at the same jokes time after time.

I love watching great films again and again … great comedians the same … great stories no less … The love of repetition as a child lingers in me as an adult.  Our  grandson Alfie loves repetition in a very visible way.  He will watch this programme, but what he really prefers is the opening theme music.  He loves the opening theme music of all the programmes that he will watch (if left with no other choice).

I am called Alfie’s “DJ”.

He and I sit together – me with the remote and he cuddled in close.  We rarely watch Captain Adorable because Alfie prefers just the programme theme music.  So he and I  sit together and (in Alfie-talk) agree what he wants next every 30-45 seconds.

Alfie was born with Downs Syndrome, and a by-product is that Alfie has a lot less choice in what he does each day than the rest of “us”.  I just happen to think that Alfie  should have times when he gets to tell “us” what will happen next – even if that is every minute or less – and even if it takes full one-one attention.

I may be wrong.

Mum and Dad are trying to stretch his attention span and tell me that I am not helping.  They are right as well (which is why I get called “Alfie’s DJ”).  But what are granddads for if not to bend the “shoulds and musts” from time to time?

VW wrote something that caught my eye today: “He is a promise keeper” (“Refocus the Struggle, VWoods1212): “You see, with Him, it is impossible for Him to lie; He says something and you can circumvent the entire heaven and earth to find a loop hole that proves it will not come to fruition and He just blows your mind at the least expected time.” 

He is a promise keeper.

My One of oneness is the same even though VW and I might not agree on the details of theology.  Even though my “theology” and yours might not agree on very much – not even on the “big questions”.  And agreeing the details of the big questions seems to matter a lot to a lot of people who call themselves Christians (and – weirdly – not much to many others who also do).

I believe that my “God” is a promise keeper.  Just as I know that many who now scoff at their “God” (or ex-God) believe He is NOT a promise keeper:

All those prayers we are told to pray – prayers of intercession – prayers of pleading – prayers of the deal: “I will never do ??? again if you give me this one thing.”   And then He ignored “me” … He let a loved one die …  He never gave me ??? when I really needed it … And look – He doesn’t stop babies dying … He allows horrible infections … He allows horrendous poverty … He lets bad stuff happen … And THAT is NOT the God I was told about when I got “saved”!

Hello the “big questions” and endless theological debate with “evidence” for this and “evidence” for that and “counter-argument” here and personal invective there.

I may be wrong.

I am a promise keep with Alfie.  We are all “promise keepers” to Alfie in different ways.  Even though our ways are all different.  Even though we all want the best for Alfie and ourselves.  And even though none of us will do the best the same way.

But I know that I will walk past a smelly aggressive drunk homeless guy … that I don’t want the personal investment of having all those in need around me all the time … that  I have all this “stuff” I take for granted … stuff I upgrade to the latest must-have version … stuff that keeps me safe from all the bad people and “bad stuff” out there …

I may be wrong.

But is blaming “God” really the answer?

.

 

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