Catch Me I’m Falling

Pretty Poison sang this song in 1987 back when MTV actually aired music videos.  Most of the video takes place on a variety of staircases or other elevated places with actors/dancers taking a tumble while others catch them.  It reminds me of a trust fall exercise, which is a group exercise where each participant stands on an elevated platform and relies on multiple people to act as a safety net.

I had a similar experience this Christmas season. I had not been looking for a trust exercise; however, I did ask God to humble me.  Guess what?  He was listening.  If you had asked me prior to December 14th what was the best catch I ever witnessed firsthand, I would have said the Dewayne Wise catch in the 9th inning of Mark Buehrle’s perfect game.

That changed when I blacked out and fell down the staircase from the 2nd floor to the 1st.  I would personally not recommend this to anyone.  I do remember telling my husband once I gained consciousness that someone was with me on the stairs.  God had caught me.  Dewayne Wise—move over.

I had asked to be humbled and I was.  Christmas was celebrated in a completely different fashion than ever before.  Not only was I unable to do the shopping, cooking, and baking but my husband had total knee replacement surgery just one week later.  The usual crowd of people we have at our house on Christmas Eve was nowhere to be found.  Not that they didn’t want to come, it’s just that we were unable to serve anyone.  No food at an Italian/American’s house on Christmas Eve is akin to blasphemy.

Instead, we had to rely on my youngest daughter to do everything.  This was a mighty stretch since we still consider her “the baby”.  She proved to be our rock.  I don’t know what we would have done without her.  It was probably very humbling for her, taking care of her parents so unexpectedly.  God made the initial catch and then tossed the ball to our youngest to complete a double play.  Isn’t that amazing?

My eldest daughter was stuck in New York City for Christmas.  It’s hard to get away from your job when it’s one of the busiest times of the year in the hotel industry.  My entire family realized what it’s like to spend Christmas alone.  We all hear and pray for those who don’t have family or friends to spend the Holidays with—especially if they’re sick and not mobile.  We can only imagine what that’s like.  Well now I know Christmas Season can be a very lonely time.

It can also be a time to grow closer to Jesus.  My husband asked me if I had a Bible, then said he should have his own.  Being humbled and saved by God is a life changing event.  In a split second everything changes.  I find myself repeating the famous quote from Star Wars, “may the force be with you.”  It’s kind of like that when you surrender yourself to God.  You have to yield the right of way to an invisible power and it’s hard to let go; harder still to realize you were never in control in the first place.  God has a huge catcher’s mitt and He knows how to use it.

Being alone at Christmas, my thoughts turned to Mary and how she felt, giving birth in such deplorable conditions.  Did Joseph truly want to bring his wife and child to such a place?  Have you seen or smelled the inside of a barn?  It’s not like the sterile manger scene we are all so used to looking at.  Animals live inside, it stinks and it’s full of refuse and muck.  The force was with them—God had them.

We are all so busy we forget the true meaning of Christmas.  It has nothing to do with family, Santa Claus, presents, decorated trees, and eating.  It has everything to do with a baby, destined to be the King of the universe, coming into the world in the lowliest fashion.  The sick, the poor, and the lonely understand.  I’m not talking about the false poor who live in poverty of their own making—that’s just an excuse to get what they can.  I’m talking about the truly destitute.  Many are alone, sickly or suffering from some form of a disability.

How many times do we walk by a homeless person living on the street?  We see them so often they become invisible.  We’ve been jaded by those panhandlers who take on the guise of homelessness.  Why are these people on the streets?  Where are their families?  Many suffer from mental illness.  The greatest numbers are US veterans.  How sad. They sacrificed so much for us but we have abandoned them.  When you do give them something they are quick to respond with, “God bless you.”

Anyone who is not outwardly mobile is unseen.  There are very few elderly cared for by loving families any more.  What about the disabled?  I remember when I was very young and working in downtown Chicago, they were very visible and in the workforce.  That has sadly become a thing of the past.  Today’s society no longer wants to see them.  How can they exist when they could so easily have been aborted?  Just the other day I had a friend tell me how horrible the fate was of a co-worker who was committed to taking care of his brother, who has Down’s syndrome, after their mother passed away.  ‘How selfish of his mother?  Didn’t she realize her normal son’s life will be ruined?’ she lamented in her best Margaret Sanger voice.  Would condemning his brother to an institution be better?  Or his mother would have done right by murdering her not so normal son?  Who decides who is normal and who isn’t?  Who decides who lives and who dies?  Who creates and chooses?  We are all God’s creatures and He grasps and holds us all in the palm of His hand if we ask Him to.

This brings me to young single mothers, many of who turn to abortion because they are alone and scared.  No one tells you about what they experience years after the abortion.  Just last week Nicki Minaj revealed she had an abortion as a teen.  She stated she thought she was going to die.  It was the hardest thing she ever did and it will haunt her for the rest of her life.  What about those unborn lives?  They are truly alone except for God.

Let’s return to the manger in Bethlehem.  Many religious scholars believe Mary was approximately 13 years old.  Imagine being 13 and pregnant with nowhere to give birth, relying only on the word of an angel.  Would she have been receptive to God in today’s world?  And what about Joseph?  What young man that you know, prompted by an angel in a dream, would take a pregnant young teen as his wife and take responsibility for her child!  Just watch an episode of Maury for an answer.

Yes, God has a large safety net.  Next time you lose your footing, spiritually or figuratively, ask God to catch you.  Even if you do fall, He’ll be there to pick you up no matter how badly injured.  And if by chance you ask God to humble you, watch out.