Bartholomew and the Oobleck

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In the story Bartholomew and the Oobleck, by Dr. Seuss, King Derwin got angry at the sky.  He growled at the sunshine, rain, fog and snow.  He wanted something new to come down.  Bartholomew tried to reason with the King, that he can rule the land and people, but even kings can’t rule the sky.

The King, proud and mighty, flew into a terrible rage and declared that maybe other kings can’t, but he’s the one king who will have something new come down.  So he thought about it and thought about it, then got the idea to call his royal magicians.  He requested them to make something fall from the skies that no other kingdom has ever had.   And the magicians worked their terrible magic and created Oobleck.

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The next day, tiny green blob fell from the sky, and the King was very excited.  He had Bartholomew wake his royal bell ringer to ring the great holiday bell.  But the oobleck stuck to the bell like gooey molasses.

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It stuck to the robin so she couldn’t move her wings. If this stuff sticks to robins, then it will stick to people.  Bartholomew tried to warn the people but it was too late.  The oobleck was all over the kingdom, over every roof, spattering against the walls, causing leaks, dripping through ceilings, coming in everywhere.

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Bartholomew remembered the king and found him trembling like a helpless baby.  The King commanded him to find the magicians and make them say magic words to stop the oobleck.  But Bartholomew could not because their cave was buried in oobleck.  So the King groaned and said he will think of magic words.

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Then Bartholomew shouted not to waste time saying foolish magic words.  Just say simple words.  “This is all your fault, the least you can say is I’m sorry.”  No one had talked to the King like this before.  “What! ME…Me say I’m sorry?  Kings never say I’m sorry!  And I’m the mightiest king in all the world.”

Bartholomew looked at the King and said, “you may be a mighty king but you are sitting in oobleck up to your chin.  If you don’t say sorry, then you’re no king at all.”  Bartholomew turned his back and started for the door.

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Then the King started to cry, “you’re right, it is my fault, and I am sorry.  I’m awfully, awfully sorry.”  And there was magic in those simple words.  At that exact moment, the sun began to shine, the oobleck blobs grew smaller and smaller and melted away.

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This story reminds me of the ecological mess we have created.  Global warming, acid rain, desertification, destruction of natural habitats, cutting down of rainforests, overfishing, ocean acidification, droughts, overpopulation, hunger, disease, suffering.  In Revelation 16:9, it is written that “the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.”

We are just like King Derwin, arrogant and proud.  But the Bible also promises that if we humble ourselves, pray and seek God, then our sins will be forgiven and our land will heal. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Dear God, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Note:  This prayer is based on the Hawaiian healing technique, ho’oponono, which is taking total responsibility for something because it is in your life.  Dr. Joe Vitale, one of the teachers from the movie The Secret, wrote a book called Zero Limits with Dr. Len Hew.  Dr. Hew used ho’oponono to heal a whole ward of insane mental patients without ever seeing any of them.  He did this by reviewing  a patient’s file and looking within himself to see how he created that person’s illness.   He just kept saying I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you, over and over.  One by one, the patients improved, and today the ward is closed.  (Further reading:  The world’s most unusual therapist)