Please sir, I want some more.
The pain of staying the same has finally overcome the pain of the change he wants. No one has done this before – at least they haven’t done this and not suffered any consequences.
The object of his fear is also the only one who can help him. Will he be punished or rewarded? He doesn’t really know, but he is willing to find out.
Slowly, cautiously, fearfully, timidly, yet tenaciously he approaches the one to whose authority he must submit. He doesn’t really like this, but he has no option. So, ‘cap in hand’, he makes his way forward in the hopes that he won’t be rejected, or worse, punished for simply wanting a better life.
Does he deserve a better life? Probably not. Has he earned a better life? Probably not. Does he even have the right to ask for more? Probably not again. The cards are stacked against him, but his hunger is relentless.
He makes his way to front, lifts his bowl and asks the stern, angry and fear inducing master for more food:
“Please sir, I want some more…”
Things quickly go sideways and Oliver is soon extremely regretful for daring to hope there could possibly be more for him.
Do remember the story of Oliver Twist?
It was Charles Dickens’ second novel. Oliver Twist has been the subject of numerous film and television adaptations. It is also the basis for a highly successful musical and the multiple Academy Award winning 1968 movie entitled Oliver.
The scene I described above is when Oliver dares asks the orphanage/workhouse master for more food at dinner. These are the lyrics to the song sung by the master that follows his request:
“Oliver, Oliver – Never before has a boy wanted more
Oliver, Oliver – Won’t ask for more when he knows what’s in store
There’s a dark, thin winding stairway without any banister
Which we’ll throw him down and feed him the cockroaches served in a canister
Oliver, Oliver – What will he do when he’s turned black and blue
He will rue the day somebody named him Ol-i-ver
Oliver, Oliver – What heavens pray will the governors say?
They will lay the blame on the one who named him.”
Sadly, I think this is sometimes how we picture our interaction with God.
Cap-in-hand we fearfully approach God knowing that we don’t deserve anything but punishment and dare to ask for more, or for help of any kind, hoping that somehow we won’t make things worse by making Him aware of us. Perhaps better is we stay lost in the crowd and resign ourselves to the fact that we are on our own and this is as good as it gets.
Can you relate?
Well, I am very pleased to tell you that that is not an accurate picture of God’s heart toward you. If you have surrendered your life to Jesus, received His gift of forgiveness and new life, you have been born again into the family of God as a beloved son. He has loved you with an everlasting love. He has drawn you with loving kindness.
We actually can’t even imagine all that God has prepared for us as His beloved children. We can boldly approach His throne of grace like dearly loved princes of a benevolent king. No fear – perfect love casts out all fear. No need to come cap-in-hand when we are in Jesus. Jesus makes a way for us to connect with our Father who aches for His children to come to Him for all we need. He also pours out good gifts to us. There is no fear in asking for more – He invites us to ask so He can provide.
No, there are no Olivers in the family of God – only beloved sons who can boldly come to their Father for all their needs.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”