Sometimes, we see people when we're out-and-about, and we might be tempted to think, "why can't they control their child?"
Maybe you've thought that same thing, too
And while there are a few who just don't care, I believe that most are doing the best they can. And, we don't know, but they may be walking a road in their lives, or with their child...that we can't even imagine. They may have had words spoken to them that made them want to give up. And so we should maybe respond with grace.
No, we should DEFINITELY respond with grace.
Because that whole "sticks and stones" thing? It was wrong. Words can speak life...or words can hurt.
I've written about this before, but over 20 years ago, Joshua sang with his peers in a Christmas program at our church. He was so happy and he knew all the words. He may have been a tad off-beat, and he may have sung a tad off-key, and he may have not stood as still as a statue while he sang...BUT IT WAS CHURCH...and IT WAS CHRISTMAS...and COME ON, PEOPLE.
As cute as he was, and as proud of him as we were, the thing I remember most from that day is the woman who grabbed me after the performance and said, LOUDLY, "I hope you know your son ruined my video."
You see, Joshua was standing next to her daughter...and this mom had apparently been fuming the entire program about Joshua's performance.
There, in the one place where we teach "Jesus loves the little children of the world," where all children should find unconditional love, and all parents should receive support and encouragement, I heard...unwanted...unloved...unaccepted.
And as a Mom who sometimes felt a little down (no pun intended!) with all the therapies, IEPs, and wonderfing if we were doing any of this "right," her words weighed like a heaviness on my heart.
Since when is a video more important than a person...than a life?
We had many, many friends who loved and encouraged our family in this town our big kids call "home," and we never would've made it without them. But this one lady, and her hurtful words, have stayed with me all these years.
"...Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40