“True Pragmatics”:The Child Is Dead-Let it go,no sense weeping


“But now that he is dead why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me” 2Samuel 12:23 (NIV)

Like every other human being, I have my troubles. Things I wanted and cannot have, things I don’t want but still have. Though annoying, I like to think it necessary to have these misfortunes. They remind me of my imperfections.

While I can rid myself of the things I do not want, I find my greatest irritant is that which I want and cannot have. The powerlessness in my inhibitions absolutely drives me nuts. Unable to hide my frustrations, my vulnerability has often been misconstrued. Many will share my sentiments, “No” is not an easy pill to swallow. You’d have to understand my background to know where I was coming from.

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My mother, a very successful entrepreneur…very intelligent, has always had this drive to her. Hers was not an easy path, in my early years of life we struggled financially. We, my siblings and I, got to witness her grow from the ashes…from being penniless to experiencing success. As the oldest child, she allowed me a much more in depth view of how to carry out business. I am a daughter of a relentless woman. If I did not know better I would think her immortal. In getting business taken care of, my mother is a BEAST!!! Nobody mess with her, even her male counterparts revered her. A no-nonsense woman, lets just say her traits I desired to replicate.

I deeply admire individuals that produce an air about them, making the statement they know what they are doing and are not to be trifled with. Even more so when the “Yes I can” attitude is tempered the ability to be kind and merciful to others. I have met such individuals both male and female, sadly just a handful, but I must say…MUCH RESPECT!!! Numerous examples I taught me how to win, but nobody taught me how to lose. Maybe because failure was never offered as an option but it is inevitable. Every man/woman must experience failure. My question, after failure how do I succeed?

“One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, ‘Isn’t this Bathsheba the daughter of Eliam and the wife od Uriah the Hittite?’ Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him and he slept with her.(She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word back to David saying, ‘I am pregnant’. ” 2Samuel 11:2-5 (NIV)
The story of David is not unfamiliar to us…matter of fact it is among the most popular of stories in my opinion. Great King, who waltz’ in splendor brought down by his inability to guard his loins. Between this story and the ‘Samson and Delilah’ saga, I am yet to decide which one wins the accolade in the Bibilical Hall of shame. If anyone had any doubts these two men are proof there is no such thing as perfect people. We all have inadequacies, the things we have and don’t want yet still have to live with. Our only strength in our inadequacy, the ability to keep it controlled.
In David’s time it was not unnatural for a king to desire a woman and just take her, in this case Bathsheba. It would be considered a disobedience for her not to appear before the King and later meet his need. “No” is not an acceptable answer, as subject to the King you do what you are told, no questions asked. After the deed David gets news that Bathsheba is pregnant and we all know the turn of events. David calls back Uriah and tries to pin it on him which doesn’t work, so he places him in the front line, Uriah is killed in battle, David takes Bathsheba in as his wife and as far as David is concerned, all is well. Until he gets a special visit from the Prophet Nathan.
“There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except this little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children, It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a slaughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare the meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” 2Samuel 12:1-4 (NIV)
David being the “just king” that he was, was enraged at the tale. His pronounced death on the perpetrator. Had he known he convicted himself, am sure he would have come up with a much lesser verdict. Isn’t it amazing how harsh we become when we are looking at someone else’s woes without empathy. Imagine the shock when Nathan responds, “You are the man!”
 I love  his reaction, I guess because its of what I would do. You know you’ve messed up and there is no fixing it so you just weep in regret.  Don’t worry David, I feel ya *wink*. The impertinence to the grace accorded to him by God is obvious, but God accords it anyway. Instead of a death sentence, he is forgiven. The child to be born of Bathsheba is however lost, a consequence for his actions. Still determined to change God’s mind, David takes to fasting. He pours ashes on himself and lays in the dust. At this point the baby is very sick which leads to his death. The servants start whispering, afraid to tell him what has just transpired because they fear the death of the child will traumatize him to death. Nobody was ready for a double tragedy. David notices his servant’s behavior so he asks, “is the child dead”, they say “yes”.
David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and realized the child was dead. ‘Is the child dead?’ he asked. ‘Yes,’ they replied, ‘he is dead’. The David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went into his own house, and at his request they served him food and he ate.” 2Samuel 12:19-20 (NIV)
His servants were shocked at his behavior. It was not consistent with their expectation. He was supposed to be weeping and distraught but instead he looked relieved. If you didn’t know better you’d think he went into fasting weeping so the child would die. His servants confront him…questioning his conduct. I love his response…absolutely love it.
“He answered, ‘While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him but he cannot return to me.’ ” 2Samuel 12:22-23 (NIV)
“But now he is dead why should I fast”. Why should I keep weeping over something I have no control over. Why should I keep pursuing a dead situation, a dead relationship, a dead job? Why should I cry further over spilled milk? I cannot recover it, so I let it be. The disappointments in our lives are sometimes a  result of poor choices we make. After we realize the error there is only two ways to work it. Either wallow in misery or dust our selves off and move on. Yesterday is gone but today is another opportunity to succeed. David did not let his defeat keep him in despair. Matter of fact, he rose up, went to comfort his wife and they made another baby who would later succeed him as King.
 As I write this, I am encouraged. I realize my imperfections, though real, cannot hold me down except I let them. Even though I sometimes make poor choices and suffer their consequences there of, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me. I choose to forget what is behind and push towards what is ahead. Pity parties only keep us locked in stagnation. Let it go. Let go of the dead baby, let go of the regret, pick yourself up and move on.
Moving on,
By Penzi Amani

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