Faith Matters: Asking for Help

Pastor Shawn Hannon
Contributing Writer Pastor Shawn Hannon

The halls of Hope Lutheran Church are quite these days. The preschoolers are gone for the summer, and with them my favorite procrastination technique to avoid that Sunday sermon. Thank God for golf or I really might be tempted to overwork myself this summer, right? Anyways, the reason I started to tell you about the preschoolers is because I can’t shake the words of one of our students this past year.

Every day our preschool starts the same way: Calendar Time. Calendar time is when our teachers head through their daily routine of assigning jobs, changing the day of the week, and looking at the weather. (Confession time: I don’t know what it is about calendar time, but I get hooked every time. Seriously, it’s like turning on Sofia the First “for Quinn” and realizing 10 minutes later that I’m the only one watching.) Well, during one calendar time this year one of the 3 year-old boys raised his hand with an urgent question. Our teacher, Ms. Chris, told him, “One minute,” and the boy proceeded to wait the prescribed time. Naturally, 10 seconds later he again begged, “Ms. Chris, it’s important.” Seeing the concern rising in his face, Ms. Chris listened in. Nothing could have prepared me for what the boy said next. He exclaimed with a degree of panic only a preschooler can, “My underwear is in my butt, and I don’t know what to do!” #preschoolproblems.

After I stopped laughing at the little man’s cuteness, I thought to myself, This is a brave boy. Something was wrong, he knew the symptoms, and he knew his teacher could help him make things right. I wish I could do that. I began to think about all of the times I’ve lived with persistent problems (and gotten pretty used to them). All of the times I’ve known something is wrong but been too afraid to ask. All of the sin that has thrown my life and the life God wants for me out of whack, but I’ve been too proud to get help.

The prophet Isaiah talks about a people whose lives are out of whack. People with, I’ll say it, spiritual wedgies they don’t know how to fix. In the 64th chapter he says, “God did awesome deeds… but the people could not see” (vs. 3-4). He goes on, “We are all sin afflicted.” You see, these problems we live with that we are so afraid to ask help for, it turns out we aren’t the only people experiencing them.

But that’s not where Isaiah leaves it. He also goes on to say, “But God you are the potter, and we are the clay” (Is. 64:8). He goes on to say that as the work of God’s hands, God wants and is making something better in us, with us, and for us.

Chances are there is something in your life that is out of sync. Chances are it is far more serious than a wedgie. Whether it is a little too much gossip, and little too much food, a strong capacity for judgment, an addiction to something that’s hurting you, or maybe you just call it sin, whatever it may be know this: even when we don’t know what to do, God wants to make us new. Our God picks away our sin (come on, you didn’t think I was gonna say wedgies, did you?)

May we be brave and boldly experience that new life today.

For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott and Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.

Previous articleIn Loving Memory: Week of 6-13-2022
Next articleJoin Me in the Kitchen
Pastor Shawn is a 2010 graduate of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, and he began his call at Hope Lutheran Church, Arcade NY that summer. While he spent four years learning and serving churches in South and North Carolina, as a Jamestown, NY native, Western New York has always been home. He is glad to be here. Pastor Shawn and his wife Carol Hannon met while attending SUNY Geneseo in the mid-2000s. They have enjoyed making their home together in Arcade with their daughters Quinn and Perry.   Pastor Shawn has a background in youth and outdoor ministry. He is a former camper and staff person at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center in Bemus Point, NY. He has also served camps in urban settings and oversees in Madagascar. In seminary he was recognized for gifts in Greek and New Testament, and in his senior year was recognized with awards in both Preaching and Biblical Studies. Pastor Shawn continues to emphasize the youth in his ministry, but not simply because they are the future church, but because they are the church of today.  He also enjoys working on service projects, and takes the role of planning meaningful and engaging worship seriously.  He loves helping people find ways to put their passion and energy to work making their community and other people’s worlds a better place. When he is not working at church, Shawn enjoys remodeling and construction projects around his family’s home.  But as busy as he gets, PS always has time for a quick nine (okay, 18) on the golf course. He enjoys playing sports of all kinds and fiddling with his guitar.