- This is in answer to:
- Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that – and how did you overcome it? See all answers
- December 10, 2012 by gmamia
- Overcoming helplessness
Everyone has to answer to someone. Is helplessness a bad thing? Consider the story about the teacup by Father George.
A grandfather and grandmother are in a gift shop looking for a gift for their granddaughter's birthday. Suddenly the grandmother spots a beautiful teacup. "Look at this lovely teacup" she says to the grandfather. He picks it up and says, "You're right! This is the loveliest teacup I've ever seen." At this point something remarkable happens: something that could only happen in a children's storybook. The teacup says to the grandparents "Thank you for the compliment, but I haven't always been so beautiful." Instead of being surprised that the teacup can talk they simply ask, "What do you mean when you say you weren't always so beautiful?" "Well, " says the teacup, "I was just an ugly, soggy, lump of clay."
"But a man with dirty, wet hands placed me on a spinning wheel,"the teacup said, "and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. "Stop! " "Stop!" I cried. "I'm getting dizzy!" I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, "Not yet."
"Then he put me into the oven. I never felt such heat. I wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head, "Not yet."
"Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. "There, that's better," I said. And he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. "Stop it, stop it!" I cried. He only nodded, "Not yet."
"Then suddenlly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening nodding his head saying, "Not yet."
"Then I knew there wasn't any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened he took me out and a pretty lady placed me on this shelf next to this mirror. I was amazed how beautiful I was. I cried for joy. It was then that I realized that all that pain was worthhwhile. Without it I would still be ugly, soggy, and dirty. It was then that all the pain took on meaning for me. It passed, but the beauty it brought remained."
The Gospel tells us that if we are to rise to glory as Jesus did, we must also suffer as He did. Accepting pain in our life we become something useful and beautiful for God, but we must first go through a certain amount of suffering. I pray my suffering has made me useful and beautiful to God.
by Fr. George
Do you think I will be able to tell this story through oral tradition when my granddaughter experiences loss on a weekend when her husband is working away from home? Will she get over that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins by visiting grandma? A friend said, "When life those stones at me, I use those stones to build a bridge." When I feel despair I lift it up for those worse than I:
For victims of violence
For those who bear the pains of sickness and for all who lack adequate medical care; for the aged, shut-ins and the dying,
For al who are handicapped in life through no fault of their own; for the defective and the delicate; and for all who are permanently injured,
For those whose livelihood is insecure: the overworked, the hungry, the destitute, and the homeless, for those who have been downtrodden, ruined, and driven to despair...Lord give them comfort.
When I read Father Mark Goldasich's July 27, 2012 litany I feel comfort. There are so many worse off than I. My oversensitivety is overcome with joy! am so happy my husband is healthy and able to provide.