Romans 14:2 NEV (New Exasperated Version)
My confession for Shrove Tuesday - I am terrible at making pancakes. Whatever tactics I try, whatever recipes I follow, I end up with...goo. To some, I realise, this will be incomprehensible.
What!! Can't even make a simple pancake?!
Hey, watch that 'even' - I can make a very nice sponge cake and a lovely casserole, among plenty of other things. It's just a problem I have with making pancakes (and yes, omelettes also reduce me to blubbering ineptitude).
As I sit here eating my goo covered in sugar and lemon I
Trust me, I will not be trying for another year.
And if you find yourself typing 'What! You can't make pancakes?!', please delete and rephrase. My goo is punishment enough. You have been
But it reminds me every year, as I sweat and mutter, finally thinking - ah! I know how to solve this now! - only to find I've run out of batter (and yes sometimes the batter is the problem, but not always - I vary in my terribleness), it reminds me that for all the things that many people find easy, someone somewhere will find them hard.
What comes easily to me can be horribly difficult to someone else, and vice versa. We are so quick to say 'but it's so easy!!' when confronted with a struggle over something that we simply do not find difficult. But in reality, our judgement is what comes too easily, our impatience over what we could do so much better ourselves - which is not something we will often admit.
Saying 'but it's so easy' in these circumstances is not encouragement, it's a dismissal of a genuine problem.
Saying 'but it's so easy' to someone who is struggling deeply can be placing a huge stumbling block in their way.
So each time I make my attempt at a pancake - a basic, unexotic pancake - I'm reminded that there are those with far deeper problems than this. Problems that we are often in danger of dismissing as 'easily' overcome - when for that person, they seem impossible. We need to encourage them in the same way as we would cheer someone running a marathon - recognising, not devaluing, the sheer effort involved.
Image taken from BBC Good Food Website - no way was I showing you my goo