I mostly blog about my kids, things God is teaching me, good books, and normally warm and fuzzy stories that always have a happy ending. But, my heart hurts today. And I’ve been challenged to write where it hurts. I don’t want comments or responses telling me that it’s going to all be okay. I know it will, but for now, for today, I just want to feel it. To write where it hurts.
Do you remember that old saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”? I remember my first grade teacher, Mrs. Edith Creech saying that many times over the course of 9 months to a group of 6 and 7 year olds.
Kids can be mean to each other. So can adults.
Kids say things without thinking them through. So do adults.
Kids don’t usually have a filter. Neither do some adults.
Kids say mean things to each other because they don’t understand the other kids. So do adults.
When kids say mean things, it hurts. When adults say mean things, it hurts, too. I know because I’ve been on both sides. I’ve said mean things that I later regretted saying. I am grateful that others have given me grace. Even as I typed this today, I emailed a friend to apologize for words I said years ago. Grace given, grace received.
I’ve been the recipient of mean things. It hurts just as much as an adult as it did when I was a kindergartener and got called boy names by two classmates on the playground the entire year because I had short hair. Or when I was called fat back because I was over weight or “big-boned” as child. The wounds may heal, but the scars remain.
Kids said all of the things above to me. But what do you do when adults play the same games? How do you respond? What makes us as adults judge and hurt other adults? Other crayons in the same box. Other players on the same team. We are all in this together. When one of our family members falls down, we don’t stomp on them and chant negative things over them.
We help them. We offer to meet with them over coffee to understand them better. We love them even if they are not just like us or believe the same things as us.
WE LOVE THEM. RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE. RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR GREAT BIG MESS.
Love. Grace. Mercy. Understanding. Respect.
Not hate. Not judgement. Not condemnation.
Truth in love.
There is a time for right and wrong. There is a time for black and white. But all the time is the time for love. If you can’t reach out in love and understanding first, no one will ever listen to your rules later.
Start with love. Extend grace. Offer peace. Drop our stones…those of us who have no sin in our lives can keep holding on to them. But, I pray. Oh how I pray we can all drop our stones and choose to love.
Beautiful things often start with broken jagged pieces. My heart is heavy today, but not broken. I am whole in Him. He makes all things new in His time.
Lord God, help us to see others the way You see them. Help us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19). Help us to love others first. To offer grace, peace, gentleness, and understanding before we get out our red pens. You have written that love is the greatest out of faith, hope, and love. As we walk in community with each other, help us to walk in humility and share truth in love. There is a time for everything. May we begin with the greatest of these things: LOVE!
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthian 13:12-13