doing the wrong thing

Baby Z has had diarrhea all day. It’s been pretty horrible- he has to be changed every hour or so. This morning, my wife noticed that he was starting to develop a little diaper rash, so we put some ointment on it. By the evening his rash was horrible, he was screaming and hysterical every time we had to change him.

About an hour a go we noticed something. The second ingredient on his rash cream is citric acid. Citric Acid, in the US, is often derived from corn. Z is terribly allergic to corn. He still has his scar from his allergy test five months ago- its bad. Like an acid it eats through his skin.

My wife and I thought we were helping.  We were responsible, staying on top of the problem, anticipating additional difficulties, and taking precautions, but we missed something and that thing was big. It made Z worse.

I’ve been contemplating my next post, it was going to be about a book I chose to write a report on for my Theology class,  Kosuke Koyama’s Water Buffalo Theology, and some applications from the chapter “Buddhists not Buddhism.” Instead, I’m reflecting on the chapter, “Gun and Ointment.” The gist of the chapter is that history, people, and movements all have harmful (gun) and a beneficial (ointment) components. However, this is all of our best intentions are trumped by God’s missionary ointment that culminates in Christ.  He works “to purify and strengthen all the other ointments with the oil of God’s judgment and salvation and let them participate in the movement of the missionary ointment” (41).

Poor Z. After we were done changing him, he would hold tightly to us. He still loved us. He believed we had ointment, even though it turned out a gun. But God is good—love still wins.

This paragraph in my paper seems to be especially resonate with me tonight:

I am increasing aware of how all my best intentions fall woefully short. My most arduous and thoughtful ointments all too often end up a “gun.” If God didn’t redeem my pitiful ointments, I would be paralyzed with fear, unable to interact at all. This is not to excuse my own thoughtlessness, apathy, or (sometimes) plain meanness, I often do not even recognized how often I carry my “guns,” but God still uses me. My ointment is judged and purifies joins with his.

Praise God

P.S. We ran to the drug store and got something else. He hardly cried with the last diaper change. Now if that diarrhea would go away…

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