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GEOFFSHATTOCKweekly

The Stress Pandemic 29: Lest We Forget

Nov
11
2019

Issue 629

David was at the peak of his power and he too had an inner story.  Saul had thrown a spear at him to try and kill him. Several times Saul had set out to destroy David.  Why? Because David was a threat to the throne and must be eliminated. 

Imagine the terror when Mephibosheth is summoned to meet David.  Two stories are about to meet.

Each year in November on the 11th day of the 11th month and the 11th hour in many countries an act of remembrance takes place.  It is also called Veterans Day. If you are reading this as it is broadcast, that is today.

Ceremonies are all about remembering and forgetting. Stress management too, is also about remembering and forgetting.  I remain uncomfortable about the concept of forgetting.  I’m not sure as humans we have the ability to forget.  I’m not talking about absent-minded forgetfulness, I’m talking about the capacity to completely forget a past event, positive or negative.  In fact, some psychologists will warn against the idea because it becomes repression and surfaces in other ways.

But back to David and Mephibosheth.  For this encounter to work both men have to re-read their inner stories. Mephibosheth has to come to realize that his 15-year story was not true.  It was not David’s fault.  David was not going to kill him.  The story he had told himself was inaccurate.

David had to continue to handle his story by refusing revenge on the House of Saul.  Do you think that was easy for David?  He was a warrior king who had received massive injustice at the hand of Saul.

Do you think it was easy for Mephibosheth to revise his 15-year old story when every day he suffered with disabled feet? 

Neither could forget the events, but both, particularly Mephibosheth’s at this point, had to learn to remember differently. 
What about you and me?  To manage stress, you will need to manage your memories.  It is dangerous to suppress them, it is dangerous to ignore them because they will surface, but it is possible with work and time to remember differently.  Mephibosheth needed to revise his view of David and also his view of himself.  This work of revision is amongst the hardest psychological work that any of has to do.  It was in the meeting together that this happened. Perhaps there is a meeting for you which will help you, or someone else find the more accurate, health giving story. 

Work well today,

Geoff Shattock

© Geoff Shattock  November 2019

BIBLE SECTIONS

2 Samuel 4:4
4 (Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled. His name was Mephibosheth.)

2 Samuel 9:1-13
1David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”  2 Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”  “At your service,” he replied.  3 The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”  Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”  4 “Where is he?” the king asked.  Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”  5 So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.  6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.  David said, “Mephibosheth!”  “At your service,” he replied.  7 “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”  8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”  9 Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)  11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s[a] table like one of the king’s sons.  12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.

See also: 1 Samuel 31

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Geoff Shattock

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