Something Thrown Away

“. . . like something thrown away.”

“Everyone has forgotten me, as though I were dead; I am like something thrown away.” (Psalm 31:12)

Yesterday afternoon I was blowing leaves and trying to get the back deck ready for winter.  As I was moving around the pots from our small patio garden of flowers and a few vegetables, I came across this one pepper dangling from the dried-up remains of the vine that had nurtured it.  The pepper had been completely forgotten.  I doubt it’s much for eating, but I was still impressed with its beauty.
How many times have you confronted someone about a task that they were to have performed, only to hear the response, “Oh, I forgot?”  It’s annoying, to say the least, and potentially even dangerous to the relationship.  In some relationships too many, “I forgot’s,” eventually lead to, “I can’t trust you.”  In other relationships too many, “I forgot’s,” eventually lead to, “You don’t really care.”
Sounds silly, but it’s true.  “I forgot,” is a short hop, skip, and a jump to, “You don’t care.”  My sense is that the YOU DON’T CARE button and alarm lie close to the surface for all of us.  We might pretend that we don’t care that some significant other doesn’t care, but it’s a lie we tell ourselves that’s not that convincing for very long.  If you think the YOU DON”T CARE button is not a significant thing, talk to a few pastors who’ve had parishioners confront them or even leave the church because the pastor or the church somehow slighted the parishioner by doing or not doing something deemed important by the parishioner.  The YOU DON”T CARE alarm is often a relationship bender and ender.  (For all you grammar folks, I realize ender is probably not a real word, but it works well with bender.)

When the YOU DON”T CARE alarm goes off it’s particularly important for both parties to TALK!  This feeling of being forgotten and not cared for is so powerful that the person feeling it will often act upon it before checking things out with the other person in such a way that defenses are not engaged.  If the accused responds defensively, then potential healing and growth in the relationship might be dashed by more hurt, anger, and resentment.  Change is possible in many situations.  It begins with acknowledgement and honest, care-filled and careful talking.

Even when God is the accused, the same is necessary.  There may well be times when we feel as though God has forgotten us and doesn’t care.  That’s not the time to run away from God.  Instead, it’s the time to run into God with questions and feelings, seeking God’s presence instead of distance.  The Psalmist reminds us that others will forget, but not our God, the one who continues to display divine care with each morning’s reawakening of life replete with all its miracles.

I pray that God will help me not forget, show I care, and do something helpful when I hear my own, “YOU DON’T CARE alarm going off.

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

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~ by revgenelson on November 12, 2014.

One Response to “Something Thrown Away”

  1. This is a message I needed to hear today, I know I feel like the pepper and I think my daughter does too. Thank You

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