Down and Out, Check it Out
By Hally Franz –
Have you had an occasion to “fall out” lately? If you recently “fell out,” that means you’ve experienced uproarious laughter in response to some joke, event or other humorous stimulus. My father regularly fell out. Dad’s been in his eternal home for over eight years now, and some memories have become foggy, as they do over time. However, I will always remember vividly my father’s laughter.
It was the kind of leg-slapping, red-faced, body-shaking laughter that caused observers to be tickled even with no idea what provoked it. It often started out in loud cackles, which gradually turned into silent convulsing hilarity. Sometimes, the laughter slowed like it was ending, only to erupt again. It was a glorious site. Who wouldn’t want to know the joke that caused such a response?
Have you fallen down? I am notoriously clumsy, experiencing numerous notable falls in my lifetime. I remember one particular incident as a teenager. I was a band kid with good grades, great friends, middle-class parents and an average social life. If I were a profiler, that’s the band kid profile. I played a most graceful instrument—the trombone. One morning, as I ran to catch the bus with my arms full of books and my trombone in hand, I wiped out just as I neared the bus steps. My instrument went beneath the bus, and my books scattered.
Fast forward some years, and there was a fall on ice when I was seven months pregnant. That might explain—well, never mind. Only days ago, a faulty flip-flop and a terribly treacherous border where concrete transitioned to grass were enough to send me down once more. This fall happened after school, so several other parents rushed to help me and grab tissues for my bloody nose. All is fine; I’ve learned to bounce a bit over the years.
When someone falls out, we want to know why. We want to know what we’re missing, so we boldly ask. And, when someone falls down, we rush to their aide. We ask how they are and what we can do. So, when fellow believers fall out of step or stumble in their faith, why don’t we rush to see what’s happening? Why don’t we boldly seek answers and offer help immediately? Next time we find someone down or out, let’s rush in with a listening ear and some Christian first-aid. And, let’s help get them back on track.
PRAYER: Gracious God, move me to respond to the spiritual needs of those around me, boldly offering help and humbly accepting the opportunity to give it.
BIBLE VERSE: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18 NIV).