When you fall in a hole
[September 14, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
My pastor told this story in Sunday School the other day.
This guy falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.
A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, “Hey you. Can you help me?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and keeps going.
Next a priest comes along and the guy yells, “Father, I’m down in this hole. Can you help me?” The priest says a prayer and keeps going.
Then a friend walks by, “Hey, friend, it’s me can you help me?” And the friend jumps in the hole. The guy asks, “Are you an idiot? Now we’re both down here!” The friend replies, “But I’ve been in this hole before and I know how to get out.”
The pastor told this story and he related how he had been through a horrible trial. Later, his friend went through a similar trial and because God brought the pastor through, he knew how to relate to his friend and help him.
I was thinking about some other responses people give when they pass someone who is stuck in a hole. Perhaps when we let others know about the hole of abuse we are / were trapped in, we’re told:
Didn’t you read the warning signs? I read the signs and I would never fall into a hole like that.
Why were you walking in Hole Land? When you’re walking with Christ, you won’t get stuck in a hole.
Here are some great books about how to decorate holes.
Use a cookbook to improve your cooking quality while in the hole.
Have you spoken life over your hole? You should call things that are not as though they are. By calling this a hole, you’re dooming yourself to life in a hole.
Get comfortable. God says He hates it when people escape holes He created.
Why did you bring kids into the hole?
We are the hole repair committee. We have examined this hole and we find that it is repaired and inhabitable. Now get back in there.
Pray for your hole to change.
Your hole is in a great neighborhood. There are good schools nearby.
This isn’t a hole. By calling it a hole, you are diminishing the hardships of true hole dwellers in distant lands where the holes are spiky and gross.
This hole is for your sanctification.
If you escape this hole, you’ll only fall into another hole and it’ll be even worse.
Your kids will become drug dealers and prostitutes if you escape your hole.
The people who hand you platitudes and condemnation are not qualified to help you out of the hole. Listening to those types only brought me confusion. My pastor didn’t do that. He didn’t lecture me about hole avoidance techniques or give me books to improve my hole. He told me that God would help me escape and he and the church would help me and my children. I am so grateful to have had Christian support during this time.
This blog is here to equip you to get out of the hole and to equip the church to help you. We write because we want to tell you about God’s faithfulness in and out of the hole. We write to relate what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown. We’ve been in this hole before. We know the Way out.
[September 14, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to September 14, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to September 14, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to September 14, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (September 14, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]