Playing with purpose

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Measured Grief

Many years ago, I entered my little chicka’s bedroom, it was past her bedtime and I needed to check her homework. Well she was in bed alright, but when I requested the homework, she admitted she had not completed the work. “What had she planned” I demanded! “Oh, she was saving it so her teacher could help her figure it out!” She replied. In that moment, I became enraged! How dare she defy me, how dare she choose the lazy way. How dare she, dare, live without fear of my retribution! I don’t remember how long I ranted. I can’t remember all the details of my rant. I do recall throwing my head back and screaming at the ceiling, “we like it hard!” I was sufficiently vindicated as I left the darkened bedroom, my chicka silently crying into her pillow.

I got about three feet down the hall towards my room; when the Lord spoke to my heart. “What the heck was that?” He asked. Not waiting on my reply, He continued; “when have I ever spoken to you in that way?” “And you mess up all the time!”

Just as quickly I could see all the failure, the errors, the plain ole human laziness, I had so consistently exhibited in my life. I did not need to hear anything more. I immediately turned back towards her room. The hallway taking on a horror movie length, as I strained to get back to her bedroom. There I begged for forgiveness my own tears rolling. I promised with GOD’s help I would not be guilty of such behavior again. I do not recall every going to that place of unreasonableness again.

There is true grief in my heart when I hear an adult scream at a child. GOD help me not to follow my urge to do harm, when I hear a child being cursed. Perhaps we think our rage justifies such hateful behavior. But you and I know, if another adult address us the way we talk to our children, it means a fight that may well end with a fatality. I’ll tell you what the Lord said to me that night so long ago. “Are you willing for me to measure you the way that you measure your child?” That was an easy, quick, and simple answer; no sir! I absolutely depend on grace.

Perhaps you are simple enough, (yea I said simple), to believe your children belong to you. Maybe you believe the pain of their small spirits and hearts is only significant to GOD, if it agrees with your needs. Then get prepared for the ‘fruit’, because payback is the mama, you have earned.

You need GOD to hear you, and if you want the comfort that GOD’s love affords your tired and bruised spirit; then you had better treat GOD’s little ones with the same consideration.

Can children be a ‘colossal’ pain in the gluteus maximum? Oh yeah, just like you! Can they be ungrateful and self-centered? Yep, just like you! Can they live without thanksgiving and appreciation? Yes, just like you! Can children be counted on to do it wrong, to get it wrong, and be completely unapologetic? Oh yes! Just – like – you! Are you willing to be cursed and screamed, and beaten by the one source of love and comfort you know? Let me answer for us all. No, uh uh, no, no, and no, again and again, and again!

Lord we need you, every hour of our day, we need you! Help us to be the conduits of love, justice, mercy, and grace we so desperately need for our lives. And help us to treasure the gift of each child you have given us. Kisses, hugs, sickness, boo, snot, and all. In the struggles of this world, show us how to buff the radiance of their little lives into the diamonds they were created to be.

Strength when the weariness overtakes us. Answers and provisions when we don’t have enough, and forgive us when we waste what we do have. Just let us be found worthy of this one task of grace you have given us all. Teach us to love, forgive, and enrich as you do. We asked this in the precious name of Jesus, amen!


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