Robert Whiting In search of awesome

Covered in Desitin


One evening my wife and I were talking in the kitchen after dinner. After a few minutes of uninterrupted conversation, we knew something was wrong. Where is the two year old?

Any time he’s quiet for more than a few minutes, he’s either taking a nap or doing something in secret–never a good sign.

The baby room door was shut, so I decided to check there first. I opened the door, and there on the changing table knelt my two year old. He was looking at his hands in front of him–covered in a generous layer of desitin–mortified.

He knows that he’s not supposed to play with medicine, but he had a spot on his face that was irritated. He looked over and saw he standing in the doorway.

“Did you do something bad?” I asked, trying not to laugh at the clearly hilarious sight.

And instead of denying his actions or crying for Mommy, he raised his hands and said, “Help me.”

This story conveys so much in its simplicity. At work, after telling the story, I messed up some code, looked over at my coworker and said with my hands raised before me, “Help me.” It’s a sign of acceptance that we can’t get out of this mess alone, that we need each other.

Beyond that, the story speaks to our situation as humans.

We see a problem and decide that we can fix it ourselves–only the way we go about it drags us further and further from the right way. We know it’s wrong, but if we could only fix it, everything would turn out alright and no one has to know.

When we’ve been alone too long, the Just One cracks open the door and looks in. In that moment, we see our own situation through His eyes and our hearts react.

We react by denying that what we did was wrong.

We react by blaming Him for letting it go this far.

We react by hiding our hands. Or our face.

But the right reaction–the one that makes things right–is to hold up our hands, look the Merciful One in the eyes and say, “Help me.”