Posts Tagged ‘kindness’

God calls us to love each other.  He never promises that living that out is going to be easy.  

In fact, he talks a lot about this thing called sacrificial love!  a love that is hard.  a love that is lived out at great cost to yourself.

I think loving us probably always comes at great cost for God.  
First of all, there’s the obvious cost of Jesus absolutely terrible death all for love of us.  Then there’s the less obvious cost of Jesus coming to this earth in the first place–giving up the peace, glory, rapture, riches, and intimacy of heaven to walk our broken earth in broken flesh-becoming one of us…. reaching down to our level to love people who keep on forgetting about anything outside of themselves… to selflessly pour himself out for people who perpetually live selfishness as their primary disposition and orientation towards the co-operative creation that He made for them in the first place.  People who vandalize the created order repeatedly during the day, sometimes consciously, but in nearly infinite ways that we don’t even have a clue that we’re doing!

And then there’s the choice to love and be in relationship with us at all…  a choice that guarantees being betrayed, mistreated, even despised—choosing to have your heart broken on a daily basis and to forgive over and over and over.

So, my young friend–I want you to know how incredibly cool it was for me to see you loving my daughter in that sacrificial way.  Being that invested and spending that kind of time with a 3 year old can be hard for a lot of people, and playing on her level for so long… helping her with her socks, and all the little things which she couldn’t do for herself…  Those are all even harder for someone your age–generally speaking.  I was so impressed with you today!  

I’m not sure if you have a clue about the way you were following Christ today–following His example of humbling yourself to be on her level, while still retaining who you are (which includes being more capable and more emotionally together, etc) so that you play like a three-year old and assist her like a 20 year old.  

but that is who you are, my young friend.  You are a young man with a beautiful compassionate streak, a protective loyalty for your friends, and a helpful spirit.

I pray today that as you grow, entering double digits, exploring how to be who you are with integrity, that you will know in a deeply experiential way that same tenderness and reaching down to your level–while still being entirely available for you to lean on Him from your beloved Jesus!  May you always know He is faithful, delight in Him, revel in Him, and lean on Him.

May the grace and compassion, helpfulness and indiscriminate love that you showed today be the norm for what you experience in your relationships.

Thank you, for showing me this picture of sacrificial love today.  I know there are tonnes of things that may have been more fun for you to do today.  I know how much easier it would have been for you to do less with my daughter, or leave her and run off to do your own thing, or ignore her need for socks, etc etc.  But you gave of yourself to be what she needed… over and over.  so Thank you.  you are such a wonderful kid!Image

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So my Sabbath turned into 3 days…  and I’m making no promises to catch up. :S

But here we go!
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I’ll admit it.  At first I was a little wary when you addressed my daughter.  I was ready to jump in with my big Mama-bear suit on and tell you to step off.  (as politely as possible of course)  But it didn’t take me too long to realize that you were offering me an ally.

As you asked my daughter, “Why are you YELLING?” in an exaggerated aghast tone, the words, “it takes a village” raced through my mind.  I paused to watch how my daughter would respond to you.  She ceased her assertion that she “needed” the bundle of lollipops that she had found by the til and came to my leg very calmly, while looking at you. Relieved that her encounter with you was ‘over’, and I wouldn’t have to intervene, I thanked her for coming to me. Which was all the invitation she needed to take up her chant about lollipops again, this time with hitting.

Internally, I rolled my eyes and thought, “hooboy… now’s where the grocery store expects me to ‘put my kid in line’ and maybe smack her back, and where everyone is going to judge me for my gentle response.

Nevertheless, I knelt down and caught her hands and reminded her that God gave us our hands to bless and not to hurt, and that I was sorry, but lollipops were not an option.
Then I proceeded to pay for the treat we HAD stopped at the grocery store to buy, and as I did,  and my daughter’s complaining continued, you engaged again.  As I heard your voice, I thought surely you were judging my inefficient parenting and were about to ‘right my wrong’, but in fact, you were tag-teaming with what I’d done, asking my daughter if she was going to put away her childsized buggy we’d been using.

As I finished up the transaction, I remarked with a sigh, (more to myself than anyone) and this is why I hate grocery stores!”

the cashier responded with empathy, and then you said this beautiful piece of encouragement, about what a good job you felt I was doing, and how hard it is to say ‘no’ to our little ones, and how strong I must be.

So thank you…
Thank you for not judging… or anyways, not condemning my parenting style
You can’t possibly know how badly I needed that encouragement.   On a day where I felt like a failure not only as a parent, but as a human being, to have ANY kind of encouragement, but specific, glowing and lenghty encouragement, from a source where I was expecting the opposite was a monstrous blessing!

I know how hard it can be to step into someone else parent-child interaction in the first place… after all, Mama-bears often WILL feel like your first engagement was a statement about their failure as parents and make it clear, sometimes with disdain, sometimes more tactfully, that “they’ve got this”.

so it takes guts to engage in the first place.
Seems to me most people only find those guts when their righteous indignation that they can parent better than the actual parent takes over.

Yours came from the place of seeing a worn out Mama who needed backup.  

And I never really thanked you.  I never responded one way or the other to your comments to my daughter… so you probably really DIDN’T know how I was feeling about it all.

So to continue on with the courage to bless me with your encouragement…
Thank you.

May you also be blessed with encouragement from an unlikely source when you most need it, and may you know, somewhere in your spirit, that this is a tender touch from a God who loves you and wants you to know that He cares!