Summary: Becoming a loving channel of God’s grace.
Humpty Dumpty Revisited
We all remember the story of Humpty Dumpty that goes like this…
Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
But did you know that there’s more to the story?
Not only did all the King’s horses and all the King’s men try to help Humpty out, “soon the King himself heard of Humpty’s fate. News about him had reached all the way to the palace, and the King was deeply disturbed. So setting aside his royal finery, disguised as a common peasant, the King slipped unnoticed through the majestic palace gates and into the rough-and-tumble street life of his kingdom.
“The King meandered through the back streets and alleys in search of Humpty. After several days and nights the persistent monarch found him. Humpty’s shattered body was scattered over a ten-foot circle amidst the broken glass and flattened beer cans of the back alley.
“Though weak from hi searching, the King was overjoyed at the sight of Humpty. He ran to his side and cried, ‘Humpty! It is I – your King! I have powers greater than those of my horses and men who failed to put you together again. Be at peace. I am here to help!’
“‘Leave me alone,’ Humpty’s mouth retorted. ‘I’ve gotten used to this new way of life. I kind of like it now.’
“‘But – ’ was all the King could get out before Humpty continued.
“‘I tell you, I’m fine. I like it here. That trash can over there… the way the sun sparkles on the broken glass. This must be the garden spot of the world!’
“The King tried again. ‘I assure you my kingdom has much more to offer than this back alley – there are green mountains, rolling surfs, exciting cities….’
“But Humpty would hear none of it. And the saddened King returned to the palace.
“A week later one of Humpty’s eyes rolled skyward only to see once again the concerned face of the King standing over his fractured pieces.
“‘I’ve come to help,’ firmly stated the King.
“‘Look, leave me alone, will you?’ said Humpty. ‘I’ve just seen my psychiatrist, and he assures me that I’m doing a fine job of coping with my environment as it is. You’re a cop-out. A man has to deal with life as it comes. I’m a realist.’
“‘But wouldn’t you rather walk?’ asked the King.
“‘Look,’ Humpty’s mouth replied, ‘once I get up and start walking I’ll have to stay up and keep walking. At this point in my life I’m not ready to make a commitment like that. So, if you’ll excuse me – you’re blocking my sun.’
“Reluctantly the King turned once again and walked through the streets of his kingdom back to the palace.
“It was over a year before the King ventured to return to Humpty’s side.
“But, sure enough, one bright morning one of Humpty’s ears perked up at the sure, steady strides of the King. This time he was ready. Humpty’s eye turned toward the tall figure just as his mouth managed the words, ‘My King!’
“Immediately the King fell to his knees on the glass-covered pavement. His strong, knowing hands gently began to piece together Humpty’s fragments. After some time, his work completed, the King rose to full height, pulling up with him the figure of a strong young man.
“The two walked hand in hand throughout the kingdom. Together they stood atop lush green mountains. They ran together along deserted beaches. They laughed and joked together as they strolled down the streets of the gleaming cities of the King’s domain. This went on forever. And to the depth, breadth, and height of their friendship there was no end.
“Once while walking together down the sidewalk in one of the King’s cities, Humpty overheard a remark that made his heart leap with both the joy of his new life and the bitter memory of the back alley. Someone said, ‘Say, who are those two men?’
“Another replied, ‘Why the one on the left is old Humpty Dumpty. I don’t know the one on the right – but they sure look like brothers’” (Vic Pentz, Stories for the Heart (Multnomah: Sisters Oregon, 1996), 28-30).
Today we come to the phrase in our definition of ministry that reminds us that we must be loving channels of God’s grace.
We all come across people like Humpty at times scattered throughout our lives; people who need help, who need love and care, but who refuse it and continue to live in desperate situations.
There are those who are like hedgehogs; those who – for whatever reason – when you get too close will stick you with their sharp, painful quills. There are those who will only let you only so close to them before they lash out in anger and bitterness, and they may even reject you vehemently and sometimes even violently.