In 1996 the world not only got to witness my esteemed graduation from Chattanooga Christian School (I know it was a big deal, but I can’t believe it was 20 years ago), but we were also treated to Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe’s pièce de ré·sis·tance, Jerry Maguire. Jerry Maguire tells the story of a conscience struck sports agent and the ensuing personal turmoil his epiphany causes. And the greatest part of this movie, which everyone will agree with, was “the one liners”. Whether it was “Show me the money” or “You complete me” or “You had me at hello”, you couldn’t go anywhere without somebody working these into conversation somehow. But the one line that always stuck with me was Jerry’s attempt at helping Rod Tidwell understand what was at stake with both of their careers when he blurted out, “Help me, help you”. I still love this line. It was indicative of everything that was on the line and yet it was so simple.
Every morning on the way to school my son and I take turns praying for the day. We usually pray for everyone in our family, for our friends and then pray for our respective days at work or at school. I always love listening to him pray because it is usually something along the lines of “Help me do better at school. Help me with my friends and my teachers. Help me…etc.” And I love the simplicity and boldness of his faith when it comes to how he thinks about God’s action in his life. There is one occurrence in scripture where a similar plea is placed in front of Jesus. A Canaanite woman has been asking for Jesus to heal her daughter, but Jesus has yet to hear her request. She finally falls at his feet and simply says, “Lord help me”. Jesus then expresses how his healing and teaching is for Israel first, but her insistence/pleading continues and Jesus seeing her faith heals her daughter. (Matthew 15:21-28) What I have always loved about this narrative is the woman’s never-say-die attitude and the simplicity of her request…”help me”.
I think all to often we get caught up in life’s complexities, routines, schedules, to-do lists, etc. When really we are put on this earth for one thing…to love God and love others. I think we forget this sometimes. So maybe a re-appropriation of the aforementioned quote might go a long way. Rather than “help me, help you” it might go something like “help me love you” or “help me love others for you”. Or maybe “help me, help you” still works. Not that God needs our assistance in being God, but he has called us to be his ambassadors, his representation, his disciples, his followers, his hands and feet. And sometimes we aren’t that great at doing that. Our conversations, our Facebook posts, our reactions in traffic, our frustration with others, our impatience with the world are anything but representative of God. Maybe it’s time we realize that we need His help in order to help His Name be glorified in and around and through us. So maybe today, as we seek to prove to the world around us that we bear the name of Christ for a reason, we would be so humble as to join the Canaanite woman and simply say, “Lord, help me.”