Thursday, March 6, 2008

I'm Afraid of the Monkey's Paw

I have this illogical fear that drives my husband insane, but I can't help it. I'm afraid of the Monkey's Paw.

For those of you who may not know about the Monkey's Paw, its a short story about a man and woman who get this magical monkey's paw that grants you three wishes...only the wishes come true in the most horrible of ways imaginable. The man and woman first wish for money for a house payment. Soon after, they get word that their son is killed in a horrible work related accident and they get his settlement money. It only goes down hill from there. If this story doesn't sound familiar, check out the spoof version from the Simpson's.

Now why am I afraid of the monkey's paw? I don't know, clearly I don't have a petrified primate appendage hidden in my closet, just something about that story got to me. The byproduct is I find myself terribly afraid of wishing for more than I have or even praying for a blessing. Crazy isn't it? Jimmy tells me all the time that God doesn't work that way and in my head I know it, I think I just fear some sort of repercussion for not being happy with what I have. Or perhaps its my "the world revolves around me" complex that leaves me feeling like everything that happens is some how my responsibility. Good and bad.

I guess right now, particularly because I'm a little stressed about money and wanting to be able to buy a home and stay put for good, I have been looking for a few blessings. So I find myself talking to God and asking for a blessing but specifying that it not come through harm to anyone or anything. Then I sit around feeling guilty and wondering how I'd feel if something awful did happen to someone I loved and I found myself with that thing I wanted. It's a vicious cycle and its pointless.

However with my new focus on preparing for rain and trying to better understand faith and grace, I'm trying to let go of this weird thing. So I leave you ... and myself I guess, with these two verses I found.

Luke 11:9-10

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.


Matthew 21:21 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. 22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

That second one has given me something to chew on. Oh, and sorry if the petrified hand if it gave you the willies.

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Brother JimmyEatWorld said...

Are you sure your not hiding some lamp in your dresser? Seriously, thats not how life works. Sometimes really bad things happen to people but God can still use those horrible things (that He didn't cause BTW) to bless people and make good happen. That is not a monkeys paw.

saintseester said...

You are not the only one who has these sorts of feelings. Sometimes, when things are going well, I start wondering, "Ok, when is it going to be taken away? What bad thing is going to happen?" I try not to dwell on those thoughts; I try to turn them around. As in, things are going okay for me now, how can I use this to help someone else? I don't always succeed 100%, but I try.

Sister Honey Bunch said...

You have to believe without doubts and without disclaimers. Listen to Jimmy. And me.

That hand freaks me out!

Ashlee said...

I had never heard of the Monkey Paw story. But, JEW is right. God doesn't work that way. When we ask, we'll either get a yes or a no and believe that the answer you get is what is best for you in the long run.

Gardengirl414 said...

Sassy, I can totally relate to this. The God that I was raised with wasn't the all loving God that most people relate to.
I agree with HB and Jimmy EW - God really isn't like that - and like you, I struggle with this on a daily basis. This was a great topic!

Gardengirl414 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sister Sassy said...

Thanks everyone. I do have an incredible faith in God providing for me and caring for my needs. Very strong, JEW marvels at the strength of it. SO this really doesn't make sense. I don't know why I fear it so much. ACK!

Sarah said...

I have to find that book. Oh my word. I have struggled with wanting to be a moderately successful writer and then reading stories of good writers (Christian or not) who have had incredibly stressful lives. When I say "God, use me today" I wonder if I should duck on my way out the door in case He decides to use something that happens in my life rather than letting me save a heart attack victim or something that is "safely" helping the world -- safe to me, my family, my way of life, etc. etc. Lots to think about!

Good post! Thanks for sharing.

The Nester said...


Help me. I keep having to look at it.

I struggle too with the idea of Grace. It's too good. UnAmerican. Don't we get what we deserve?

I'm so glad that He doesn't work like that!

High Hopes said...


You have to believe and be able to accept grace. You may not always get everything you pray for, but remember God is not a vigilante and he is not going to punish you by making bad things happen.

We all have a certain amount of bad stuff that happens, but if you look at it in a more positive light, you learn from the bad stuff and it does make you stronger and able to cope with things.

I agree though the monkey paw pic is freaky.

Sandy C. said...

Ooh, that hand creeps me out too. I too feel this way sometimes. Especially the "repercussions for not being happy with what I have."

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I think The Monkey's Paw is one of the scariest stories ever. I hope that your prayers are heard soon.

Jen said...

I share your fear. Doesn't it sometimes seem like if something good happens, it should come at a GRAVE AND TERRIBLE COST? Even though I know it's nonsense, it's hard to put the idea completely out of my mind!