Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nails and Marshmallows

I'm not sure if this is theology or philosophy or psychology . . . Could lead to a theology of human beings I suppose (what do we call the 'theology of man' nowadays?) Anyway, some Sunday laziness . . .
People are like marshmallows with a nail in the middle - the nail completely covered by marshmallow. When we meet them we meet the marshmallow part. Some people are great fat marshmallows - friendly, cheerful, ever-loving people, some are dry and brittle - they don't have much in the way of social skills, although they may try. And others are everything in between - thin layers of marshmallow, thick, patchy and so on.
As we get to know people we start to work through the marshmallow, until eventually we encounter the iron core. Here we find the values held by the person. The things that make them strong and give them meaning in this world. The part where the Bible says, 'as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another' (or something to that effect!). When iron meets iron real friendship are formed. Friction also happens. But we are beyond the world of marshmallow. We are pleased to share our iron with each other. Unfortunately, at the core with the iron are crumbs of clay. As people find our strength, they also find our weakness and insecurity. We'd rather not let those be seen - or see those of others. But it's part of the package. Also in the core we may find a pool of tears. It may be bigger or smaller, but it is there forming part of the human being. It may be well-hidden, but, be sure, it is there.
Our challenge in life is to love people beyond the marshmallow level. In spite of the clay. Not because of the pool.

6 comments:

Thomas Scarborough said...

Re your blog on amatomu.com, Jenny, the man to contact is Daniel Bailey, dan@creativespark.co.za I'm not much clearer about my own blog at the moment, though.

Anonymous said...

:).

Thomas Scarborough said...

This is just a little off-topic perhaps, but I did what is called the OARS test many years ago when a Church consultant took me under his wing. The result was that I was a David on the surface, but a Paul at heart. He considered that this may have given people the wrong impression of who they were dealing with.

I'm not sure whether anyone's true nature really lies within themselves. I've been coming to the conclusion that it lies in how they relate to God. It is in a sense not inherent.

Anonymous said...

Strange one, but very true!

John AT Robinson said somewhere that Christians are like soft centred chocolates. Hard on the outside (we know what we DON'T believe and WON'T accept) but soft on the inside (not too sure what we DO believe, or why). He clled us to become hard centred chocolates--more welcoming on the outside and more certain at the centre. I see a similarity with your nail in the middle of a marshmallow (but I prefer chocolates myself).
Thanks Jenny.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Chocolate AND marshmallow!

Anonymous said...

Aaaaah! NOW we're talking.......