So you wanted it to go differently -- a little less rough around the edges. I call it happy and you call it smooth.
Instead, my eyes meet yours as I walk in the door on my lunchtime visit and you shake your head. Instantly I see your disappointment, sadness almost, over not having what you really wanted for this, the first day back to school -- our first day to teach and learn at home for the whole year.
I listen to you explain the challenges that first morning presented. You humbly share and I feel the ache of your frustration. Your words speak of your heart -- a strong attempt to choose kindness and gentleness, and how it wasn't received and how sad you were for him needing the consequences. For I see, it does sadden you and you wish it weren't always needed.
I'm giddy as I'm listening and I can't hardly wait for you to stop. I want to do what I'm most compelled to do and that is to encourage you. I want you to see what my heart sees: Pure goodness. Rich, sweet, satisfying goodness pouring out and over the cup you share as we commune together in this moment of you sharing this story of your morning. The blessing spills over and the cup runs over and I see it:
The hard moments, when the fight leaves the edges of our story tattered, torn and frayed, are really Holy moments -- to-God-glory-be moments.
It requires the most insane amount of sacrifice to See because we think it just doesn't make sense and really, it doesn't -- hence the crazy part. Reaching for Hope sometimes doesn't make a bit of sense. It's completely ridiculous on the surface.
To really find understanding we need to listen, keep quiet, slowly consider what the moment is all about, and only then thoughtfully respond. Slow and quiet soften our response to be more heartfelt and less of a hell-bent-like reaction.
Listen. Consider. Respond. (not react).
I speak this out loud for myself to hear and soak up the words because what I need to remember most is that there's a difference between react and respond. Because I don't always agree with your approach and the truth is that I sometimes don't trust that God is in control, and so I elbow my way to the soapbox to be heard and to control and outcome that I fear.
O to trust more . . .
The grace is in the slowing of me to See. To seek first to understand you. To surrender my fears and instead choose an ear, I am in turn gifted a window to your sweet and gentle heart and this, a wildly beautiful perspective:
When we sacrifice our desires for a smooth going day, we are willingly choosing to See the meaning full purpose of it all.
And from what I can see, you are cultivating a rich soil, gently turning it up and patiently handpicking the weeds and stones up and out -- the ones like his pride and disrespect. This character farming is a reflection of He who lives inside of you. Metaphorical speak, of course.
So, steady on. You are doing a great work. Truly, a great work.
I cannot judge for I was not there (and neither can anyone else for that matter), and I do not have an alternate solution or suggested approach that might be better than yours. What I do know is how to encourage, and so hear me my sweet friend:
You are doing a great work. Do not come down from here.
Brick by brick His beauty is being built here in this place.
So, stay the course, press on, and remember this:
The roughness of this moment is merely a reflection of His refining in process.
May our Heavenly Father fill your gaps and bless your heart and work. Amen.