Thursday, April 19, 2007

Momma Bear

Late this afternoon I was in the kitchen talking with my husband and preparing dinner, when the door flew open and Joshua appeared before us - in tears. He had been at the play ground when some boys who were playing football accidentally tripped over him and they all went down in a heap, with Joshua on the bottom. Joshua's tears weren't from the fall, however.
Apparently, when he fell some other boys came over and began taunting Joshua and wanted to know if he "felt the pain." They were teasing him, saying they wanted to see him cry. The next report is that one boy called Joshua by a disparaging name, and had the same choice words for my husband and I. This boy was tormenting Matthew, too.
I'd like to say my first response to the situation was to remember this young boy is loved by Jesus. I'd like to say I reminded Joshua that we're called to forgive those who wrong us. I'd like to say I immediately began praying for him. I'd like to, but that would be a lie.
What really happened is, when my son came through the door crying and telling his tale of woe, I went into Momma Bear mode. I wanted to go find that boy and beat him up. And I am not a violent person. I wanted to ask him just who he thinks he is, bullying my boys around like that. I wanted to give him a piece of my mind. And I wanted to sit on the couch with Joshua and cry with him and tell him this kid is just a no-good-bully, not worth thinking or talking about.

Instead, I hugged my son and gave him a wet paper towel for his elbow. As Joshua calmed down and I got back to making dinner, I did move past Momma Bear. I tried to think about this boy in the first way I wished I'd responded. While I was stuffing pasta shells, I prayed for this boy I do not know. It wasn't easy.
This boy had hurt and threatened my boys. He had sent Joshua home crying. For all I knew, he might be at his own home at that very moment tormenting his sister or torturing his dog. Why would I want to pray for that? I wondered, Is this what it means to pray for your enemies? Several times I had to "start over" in my prayer, as my mind tended to wander away from the good and to dwell on the offense which had been committed.

As the hours have passed and I'm able to think more rationally, my prayer is changing somewhat. I'm moving from away from anger and seeing the need for my heart change. Lord, please help me to see this boy - all people, really - as You do. Please help me to love, even my enemies, as You do. Lord, I want to see like You see, and love like You love. More and more, I want to be like You.
Amazing, isn't it, that God will use each and every situation in our lives to mold us and shape us into the people He wants us to be? When, at first, I was concerned about the wrong committed against my son, (And we are going to continue to work with him on how to deal rightly and wisely with bullies!) in the end, God showed me my heart condition and my need to change. He doesn't waste a thing!


irrationallove said...

AMEN, SISTER! ...and I'm with you...more than I can say...similar situation just different players.

annie said...

Oh Karen, it is so hard to see your baby bear hurting. I think we were built with that in our hearts to protect them.
It is great that you use situations to learn & grow. If we ask God into our lives He can move in any situation through us.
♥ Annie
My Life as Annie!

Coach J said...

Been there, thought the same things, and probably let some come out of my mouth!!
Honestly, I would love to hurt the people who've hurt me or my family, but I am sooo thankful the Holy Spirit whispers to me "That's not your place." I'm even more thankful that I say "Yes, Lord." (I have been known to give a suggestion or two on how He could avenge us.)

Anonymous said...

What a great post. It is so easy to know the right things to say and do, but when your children are hurting, it is sometimes difficult to DO the right things! Wonderful thoughts.

amy said...

I really enjoied seeing you speak at First Baptist Church today. May God Bless you always. Amy Woody

JennaG said...

I am naturally a very non-confrontational person--but don't mess with my children--I will confront in that case. I completely understand you wanting to do something--and I don't think it would have been--just with the right attitude, of course!

Irritable Mother said...

IL ~ Hang in there, sister!

Annie ~ Yes, I think it's built-in, too. Thanks for the encouragement.

Coach ~ I'm curious, did He use any of your suggestions???

Lauren ~ To know and to do...Yes. This can be tough when the kiddos are hurting!

Amy ~ Thanks. I'm glad you were there!