We meet in that familiar stance again this morning, as the sun streams in the window by the front door and defiance flashes in her eyes.
My face is set to match her will and we stand at that standstill, again, for the one thousandth time.
We both know that as the mama, I will eventually win, but she is going to give me a run for my money before she allows that to happen.
And it isn’t until later that I remember those verses from this morning, after the battle has been won in my favor and she is calmed down and quietly working that His Word sinks deep:
But now, you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander,
and obscene talk from your mouth…Put on then, as God’s chosen ones,
holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and
patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against
another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also
must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything
together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:8, 12-14
I can forget often, that before her anger can be addressed, my heart needs examining; while her eyes are flashing, mine need to soften. Before we stand, locked in a heated battle, my arms need to open and pull her in close.
It feels more natural to allow frustration to take the wheel – for my position as the mama to be the driving force behind compliance…but that isn’t what Jesus asks of us.
Instead of putting on what feels normal, He asks us to go against the grain and to put on what our flesh will want to rip off:
Peel off anger and cup compassion.
Remove wrath and receive kindness.
Throw away malice and kneel in humility…
And when everything in me wants to complain about the attitudes and the immaturity, forgive. Bear with the child, the friend, the stranger, the one out to harm; bear with them and lean into the Holy Spirit – receive from Him all that is needed to speak His Life and Love to the broken soul in front of me.
Because I am only seeing with my eyes what is going on around me. I don’t know what is going on deep down in her heart. I don’t know what set off the first battle cry and in the heat of the moment, it is going to be even harder to decipher.
Tomorrow, we will try again.
Tomorrow, I will meet her at the bottom of the stairs and trust that Jesus will show me how He sees her heart.
And the white flag will wave in surrender to the One Who gave her to me.
You are the God Who Looks at the Heart and most days I fall into that chair exhausted because I don’t know what is going on in that head of hers, of his…of theirs. I fall exhausted because I don’t fall on You and if I just would…I would find You to be faithful and loving and kind. God Who Looks at the Heart, of them and of me, You give when we ask for wisdom and You graciously, along with Jesus, give. Today is done, tomorrow is new and Your Mercy will be mine for the taking – so be with us in our sleep, be with us in our waking and surround us with Your Love in our interacting with one another. You are so good and so amazing, to love us and to draw near to us the way that You do. Thank You, Jesus.