I confess that one of my greatest weaknesses during the holiday season is watching the mass variety of shows, concerts and movies that celebrate all things Christmas. I especially enjoy more of the live music and performances on Christmas Eve, usually from a great church or legendary concert hall. One year I watched a new musical, which was a fresh modern take on the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol.
Toward the end of the show, after the death of Tiny Tim, his father, Bob Cratchit, sings a song of mourning the loss of his son. But this was not a typical song lamenting the tragic loss of a child. This song, called “No Trouble At All,” was an almost lighthearted reflection on the life of Tiny Tim. In a whimsical kind of tone, the character of Cratchit speaks to all of the struggles his son faced.
As he sang over the list of ailments and the challenges that each of those brought to the family, he answered each one with a wide smile and an incredibly heartwarming saying, “No Trouble At All.”
I watched the scene with tears welling up in my eyes as I immediately substituted all of the challenges that the actor was communicating in his song for my own son’s challenges and reflected on how I felt about them.
The normal emotional responses of anxiety, frustration and anger almost instantly melted away. What I was left with was the perspective of a father looking back at his experience of his son now that he had come to the end of his life.
While my son was still alive and well, I had now stepped into the shoes of Bob Cratchit, and found my perspective was one of gratefulness and love to all of his conditions.
I sat and let all of my experiences with my son wash over me, and with the now appropriate response: when I am upset at my son for not being able to control his body, he is no trouble at all. When I’m frustrated that he can’t be more independent and needs so much support, he is no trouble at all. When he won’t go to sleep and requires me to sit or lay in bed with him until he does, he is no trouble at all.
Most importantly, when I am in those places of upset, frustration and sleep deprivation; my Lord reaches down from heaven and with a loving hand and a gentle voice whispers to me how much I am loved and forgiven. He shows me the grace that I so desperately need when I am not being the father that I am called to be. He cares for me in so many ways and reassures me, even in times of weakness, I am no trouble at all.
“Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.” ~ Psalm 25:17, NIV
Written by John Felageller
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