There’s a character on one of the episodes of The Simpsons named Frank Grimes. He moves to Springfield and starts working at the same nuclear plant as Homer. Frank is flabbergasted by Homer’s incompetency, by the way his friends fawn over him, and the fact that Homer has been afforded such a nice job, and family, and home while Frank remains alone and forever given the short end of the stick despite his intelligence and acute awareness of life’s little hypocrisies.
I relate way too much to Frank Grimes.
As a Christ follower, I’m to “love them anyway.” My heart is no longer a heart of stone but a heart of flesh. But whenever I go to feel it, there’s the hardness in it. The understanding that I’m to multiply grace upon grace to people who seem utterly blind to their own deception.
To be “frank” (so to speak), it’s mind-numbingly difficult for me.
I know too much for my own good. I’ve known too much since I was a kid, looking at all the adults around me and picking up the discontent in their voices. I hear, and see, and feel things I wish I didn’t. I just wish I could go blind and slowly be destroyed with a smile on my face too.
But I can’t.
He who has been forgiven much loves much. That first part hits the nail on the head. The second part worries me beyond belief. I can love my family. I can love the few people who poke and prod at their eyes, aware of their own blindness. But how hard to play make believe with someone who never intends to grow up.
Or maybe they do, they just don’t know how. Maybe I’m that answered prayer. In some strange way, God’s way, He’s put us in such a situation that the sheep need a shepherd, and I need to swallow down my own bitterness and pride and lead those who are having a hard time walking out of the dark, into the light.
At the end of that episode, Frank loses his mind when an attempt to embarrass Homer backfires, and Frank ends up grabbing hold of high voltage wires, which leads to his untimely death. At Frank’s funeral, Homer hilariously mutters in his sleep while dreaming, and everyone laughs and laughs as Frank is lowered into the ground.
It’s my own bitterness, my own sense of ego that chokes any last breath of love my lungs contained. And I’m certainly not the one laughing.
© 2023 by Ericka Clay
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2 thoughts on “Not the one laughing.”
The trajectory, the lessons—I can relate, once again. God does set us up with spongelike scenarios, involving others who draw out all the parts He wants to perfect in us. Seeing our own flaws creates that contrite man Jesus loved, “Lord, I am not worthy.” It’s simple math. He makes us worthy with His blood. 🧡
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Oh, Anne, the gospel in one perfect comment. Love this. Thank you for reading and thank you for your insight as always, friend.