Friday, May 19, 2006


This week I got into an altercation with a co-worker. I was telling my daughter about it and she asked me, "Mom, did anyone stick up for you?" She stumped me. At first glance, it looked like no one had or even needed to. Yesterday, one of my bosses sat me down to talk about what had happened. He had seen the tail end of things and believed I was 100% in the wrong. Rather than jump in, he decided to step back. He waited a couple of days to talk to me so I could recover. And he gave me a chance to talk about my perspective. This morning I went in and thanked him for how he handled things, for giving me "the benefit of the doubt" as my friend observed, and for giving me a chance to explain myself when he thought I was in the wrong. I realized that by doing that, he actually was sticking up for me and who he knows me to be.
Since yesterday, I have thought a lot about "sticking up" for people. Sometimes I have been great at sticking up for others. When I was in the 4th or 5th grade, I joined a group of my friends before school to wait for the morning bell to ring. They were really trash talking one of my closest friends, Linda, who was nowhere to be seen. Every girl there was saying mean and hateful things about her. I finally jumped in and confronted them and let them know that in no way was I going to stand by and let them talk about her like that. The next thing I knew, Linda jumped out from behind a few of the girls. It had all been a set-up to see what I would do.
Several years ago, there was a woman who got into a minor traffic accident while exiting Belle Isle in Detroit. The owner of the car she bumped into began to attack her. Despite there being a huge crowd of onlookers, no one stuck up for her. No one moved to help her. She ended up jumping off the bridge she was on into the Detroit River to get away from this man. She drowned. I will never forget this story because, sadly, there have been plenty of times when I stood by and let someone get made fun of or hurt emotionally because I was too afraid of the crowd to step out and stick up for someone. I am not always good at sticking up for others.
The truth is that sometimes sticking up for someone costs us. A few years back, myself and some friends went through a pretty rough time because we stood up for someone that we loved and believed in. Our community held us in disdain really, for our decision to stick up for our friend. On the other hand, I know that our community was also sticking up for the person they believed to have been offended, rather than being the offender. I was asked once if I thought it was worth it, and I said yes...Despite the difficulties and trials, I believed it was worth it. I could not have faced myself if I had let me friend go through this without knowing he had my full support and commitment...because he had always been the one that was there for others, the one who was always sticking up for others, even those who were turning their backs on him then.
The Book of Job holds many lessons for us. But one of the most poignant for me is the picture of God sticking up for Job. When Satan accused Job of only loving God because God had blessed him so much, God stuck up for Job. By allowing Satan to basically trash Job's life, God was really in Satan's face saying, "I KNOW my servant Job. I KNOW who he is. I KNOW his love for me. Do what you will, but I KNOW Job." How amazing is that really? I wonder how many times that God has stuck up for me, but I wasn't aware because I was only focused on the crap going on in my life. (Gosh, I hope I eventually made Him proud.) You know, had I not learned this lesson, that sometimes sticking up for a person is believing in them, I would have missed one of the most powerful and loving pictures of God. How amazing to think that the Alpha and Omega, I AM, the Almighty Creator, our Redeemer and King, thinks so much of us that He will stick up for us at times by not stepping in but by standing back and letting us prove our love, letting us find out for ourselves and in front of everyone else, that our love is real and deep and true. To think that God trusts us so much, when we are still so imperfect and growing. I don't know, that just makes me want to fall down and worship.
JOB 1:6-12: 6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."
9 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."
12 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.


Peta said...

Wow, this is a great thought. You really make me think about sticking up for friends. I actually have a really nice friend and most guys in our class laugh at him. I've told them a hunderd times to stop, but they won't listen. But your post will make me review this and probably be stronger in sticking up for my friend. Thanks so much!!

Vicki Sue said...

I appreciate your thoughts. Thankyou for sharing them.
Thankyou for being transparent.
Thankyou for asking questions instead of telling answers.
Your thoughts are very helpful.