I Would if I Could
Posted on April 18, 2019 by Erin Culleny in Victory Call
This year I began a new DVD collection of the TV drama “Little House on the Prairie.” A couple of nights ago, as I watched for the first time, the following scene played out during one of the episodes. In this scene Mary and Laura have had an encounter with their nemesis Nellie Olson. (She’s one of those characters in any drama that you can’t stand the moment you lay eyes on her.) Nellie was just plain old mean-spirited and full of herself. She had no problem bragging on or flaunting the fruit of her father’s labor in front on anyone unfortunate enough to be within hearing range of her whiny voice. And she seemed to take an extra degree of satisfaction from any distress she could bring upon Mary and Laura Ingalls.
It was after one of these encounters with Nellie that the two girls found themselves sitting on the front steps of the store owned by Nellie’s father.
Mary sat in stunned disbelief over the meanness of this character and says to her sister, Laura, “I could never be that mean.”
Without missing a beat, Laura pipes right up and say, “Oh I could.” After a brief pause she remarks, “If mom and dad would let me.”
Right away, I thought to myself, “So could I!”
In fact on any given day, I could do any number of things according to the dictates of my flesh and in my own, stubborn willfulness be as anxious as Laura to slap Nellie silly. What stops me? (What stops you?) In part, yes, it’s my mom and dad. They raised me much better than that and I am often conscious of the fact that I don’t want to do anything to bring shame down on them.
More than that though, I am stopped cold by the spirit alive and constantly at work within my members. Apart from the saving Gospel, which is to say, -apart from Christ Jesus dying on the cross to save me from the penalty of my sin, there is no telling who or what I would be at this point in my life and just like Laura in this beginning episode, I would if I could.
Oh Lord, thank you for your mercy even when we sin. I ask that we would clearly see when we are wrong and be quick to seek your forgiveness. Show us the way to worship you with true passion and show us how to love the unlovely you have sovereignly placed in our lives.
Written by Stephanie Paul: Stephanie served on staff at America’s Keswick as Women of Character Director. She is married to Sesky; together they have 2 adult children. This post was originally written in 2005.
Think About This: “The greatest thing a man can do for his Heavenly Father is to be kind to some of His other children.” – Henry Drummond
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6