08 December 2011

Could be better. Will be better.

I remember getting a book from the library when I was a kid called, I think, Could Be Worse. Yup. It was about a couple of kids whose grandpa always told them when they complained to him about something, "Could be worse!" Once when they brought him a complaint, he told them a long, crazy story about all these awful things that had happened to him when he was young--something like his house exploding in a hurricane while weasels ripped his flesh and his mom poached monkey gizzards in puke sauce for supper and on like that for pages and pages. The kids hear him out and then happily tell him . . . you got it.

And of course grandpa is right and the kids are right and that frowny, responsible, "you live in the first world you unpitiable whiner" voice in the back of my head is right. But there's a part of me that could do without Could Be Worse. It's not weeping with them that do weep to always be telling them "could be worse," and it could be way stinking better, and it's OK and even important to want that, and we're supposed to be sort of ready for it, and frankly there are times when it feels like that's really all there is to look forward to.


Leah said...

I often chide myself with thoughts of "Pioneer Women" and all that they had to bear when I start getting whiny about something, but then I have to say, Well, God didn't have me born as a pioneer woman. He had me born in America, now, with this set of joys and troubles. It wasn't up to me or them.

Besides, who says the "Pioneer Woman" didn't complain about life now and then. She was a sinner just like me.

Reb. Mary said...

HAHA I recently told Monique off-blog that on bad days I sometimes try to cheer myself a bit with "At least no one is throwing up. That would be worse." She thought we should make it into t-shirts, which I think is brilliant :D. (Of course, we'd have to find something else for the days when they're all throwing up...)

But yes, I think we all have a someone in our lives who, if we give in to a bit of weeping (or, OK, whining), immediately launches into a tale of someone else's much worse woe. This not only doesn't cheer me, but slides me into misplaced guilt on top of the other woes. How much more helpful would be a listening ear and then an "eyes to the skies" reminder that is both empathetic, true, and what it truly needed.

Katy said...

That sounds like a book kids would loooooove (to read over and over, that is)

Elizabeth said...

Thanks! I needed this one. Especially because we just had the worse throwing up of which Reb. Mary speaks - and gave it to all of our house guests for Thanksgiving/Baptism...and it's Advent...and - but to go on is precisely against the point of this post. Thank God for heaven! :)

Monique said...


I'm starting a sign up sheet for orders. For the full effect I think we should get these in a camo print.

I wonder if we can get them in maternity sizes?

Louise said...

"It's not weeping with them that do weep to always be telling them 'could be worse'..."

True. We all have different trials and suffering in our lives. Just because I see someone else's suffering may be great (or just because mine could be worse) doesn't mean that what I am going through right now isn't suffering for me.
I know and thank God NOT that 'it' isn't worse - BUT that He is in control and has a perfect plan. (Then I very well may weep to my husband or parents or friends because I am a frail, sinful being and I want to know what God's plan is.)
I do know that we have this assurance that not one sparrow falls to the ground without our Heavenly Father knowing. Matthew 10:29

Melrose said...

monique!!! LOL!!! love it :D

Rebekah, I dont know how you do it. I was feeling overwhelmingly guilty yesterday for having a hard time with some of the trials we're experiencing when I know of someone experiencing something far far worse right now. Thank you for your kind words.