I am currently reading the stories of David and Saul in my nightly devotions.
I have to say, they are quite a duo. The dynamics between them, brought to us by a combination of the blessings of God and the errors of man are, well, realistic. Power trips, rage at a younger, seemingly less powerful man, and even suicide seem to be common in our society still today. I will just never understand why people don’t like the Old Testament.
There is something of this story that I have found quite striking of late.
David would play his harp and such to settle Saul when Saul was being tormented. Wow. I mean, David and Saul are best kind for now (at least in David’s mind), but you have to think it is pretty amazing that the future king helps to settle the present (known to be rebellious king) when he starts getting a bit crazy. Only God can make something like that happen. Especially when you discover that a little while later, despite what David was doing to help Saul, Saul still wanted to off David.
It is amazing what talents God gave David. And that He granted David the peace and desire to play for Saul during Saul’s difficult times.
Sometimes, I think it is easy for us to blow off people that are distressed… I mean, really distressed by things we can’t even begin to understand (like Saul being tormented by spirits). I get frustrated by people in my class who (in my eyes) freak out disproportionately about the exam. Or by my grandmother, who lashes out, often at the people who care about her most.
And, realistically, it can be annoying to be put in situations with, well, the “crazy” people. I mean, it takes time out of your day. It wastes your mental energy. It may even make you feel kind of terrible for a bit before things get better. Let’s face it… Some people are exhausting. And we are not perfect. But, neither was David, as we see later on.
But, then, you really think about it. And maybe try to look at it from their perspective, or God’s perspective. They really need someone to play a harp for them. Do for them whatever that thing it is that makes them settle down. Sometimes, it might be as simple as helping them with some material or getting a coffee and chatting. Or doing something to distract them, like, well, playing a harp (not my gifting) or going bowling (also not my gifting, but something my grandmother loves). Everyone needs to be loved… Even if they seem to be a bit crazy in the ways they display their angst or in the ways their angst seems to settle.
I am not trying to be preachy. I have been known to avoid situations with certain people who are, well, draining. And I think sometimes it is good to do that. You need to take care of yourself before you can care for others. But, there is a difference between self care and being self-centered.
I find lately, I have been avoiding some of my school friends. And not because they are terrible people. And not because they are draining overall. But, with this exam coming up, they are a little, well, high strung. And so am I. But my baseline of high-strungedness is a lot lower. So, they are well, off the walls by times (and admit this, so I am not being over the top). I wanted to hide away, do the classes I have to and then camp out (alone) to study or hang out with friends (not in my class).
The thing is, some of them need someone to tell them to calm down. To get coffee with. To validate that they don’t need to be studying. And I have been avoiding doing that. Not that it is only me who can help, but apparently, it is something I can do. I can be a friend. I can make people take breaks or at least move at a more leisurely pace.
And suddenly what I was reading made a whole lot more sense. It wasn’t just a guy playing a harp for another guy, but God using someone to bless another person. And it isn’t a big deal. But, in another way it is.
I was oblivious to the idea I could help. I just assumed that because I was stressed and they were stressful that it was safer to avoid. But, today, I ended up sitting with someone for awhile. Talking. Breathing. And I realized. Sometimes you don’t have to play a harp. Sometimes you just need to take a few minutes to be a blessing to someone.
I guess the good thing to take from all of this is that God provided David with the ability to settle Saul. And God can provide us with the same ability with those around us who need it. And He can do it even though we are human and, well, rather flawed… He showed us that with David.
Now, for a semi-related and beautiful music note…