Living/working in a children's home, I hear a lot of he-said/she-said. There are mounds of wounded hearts. Kids that lash out and thrash the tender ones, so many words that pierce.
And now, its my own tender girl that’s being accused of hurtful words. I confront her, gently… and she crumples in hot tears… “I didn’t say that!” How could I think she would say that? And my mother-heart is aching… I sure hope not. But I don’t know… it’s purely a matter of who-ya-gonna-believe and a whole host of questions without answers.
Its fear, I know, that I haven’t done a good enough job. That somewhere within, my own children might think its acceptable to hurt back when they’ve been hurt. To take an eye for an eye. To hold the world at arm’s distance to shelter themselves from being crushed by the weight of the brokenness.
And I plead with her… “Remember? What do we give in return, dear girl? What do we do when they hurt us?”
And I know its not easy and I whisper prayers to have the words to teach her and the actions to teach without words and I frantically search my own life … did she observe this behavior in me? Did the thick black dust cloud of brokenness, in this place, blow off of me and cover her Christ-heart, fogging up her ability to forgive, to turn the other cheek? Did she follow in my footsteps, somewhere along the line, and find selfish, gaping holes where sandaled-feet should have been? Did she learn how to hurt others… from me?
And I know, did or didn’t, it doesn’t really matter. Because whether these words were hers or not this time, she will utter words that hurt. Deny Her very Savior with little-girl head games and the wanting of her own way in this life. Because it is her nature. Because she was born of man and broken flesh and she lives amongst so many results of sin and ugliness. And so was I. And so do I.
But she is redeemed… and so am I. And I long for her to know and me to know that we are not those ugly words. And we do not need to use ugly words because we are daughters of the Most High, and we have been given Another Way.
Together, we remember. What Love would have done… how to think His way, next time. How to lift wounds to heal wounds, how to forgive through love that is not of this world. We remember how the road to the cross resembles the well-worn path to a friend’s door and the stone-throwers along the way, and we two girls on knees together resolve again to be life-givers instead.