“She’s talking rudely to me.” He utters as tears fill his eyes.
“Well I’m tired of you hitting the back of my chair!” She quickly counters with that harsh tone that paints a picture of eyes rolling.
I continue driving, praying for words and an attitude of peace. They carry on back and forth, back and forth- who can injure the other more; who will have the last word?
Finally I’ve had enough and proclaim “No one leaves this car until this is settled.”
We continue down the familiar road in silence. One minute goes by, then two, then five. Who will speak first? Who will confess their unkind words and selfish heart? Who will ask forgiveness?
Lord, where have I gone wrong?
We are just minutes from the school. “No one has anything to say?” I demand.
“Sorry for my attitude. Will you forgive me?” She finally says.
“Yes. Sorry for being rude.” He replies.
I exhale. I suppose that that will do, Lord. But I was hoping for a little more.
She exits the car and heads into the school. I look back at my son and the tears come again. Ugh, I thought we settled this.
“What’s the matter, buddy?”
“She’s not sorry for calling me THAT name.”
“A big fat liar.”
I remind him that she said she was sorry and asked forgiveness. I tell him that he doesn’t know his sister’s heart and is wrongly judging her motives.
“But I know she’s not sorry for that.”
Do you know how difficult it is to send your children off to school in this state? Do you know that feeling- like you’re watching opponents in a boxing match, each examining the other’s weaknesses, attempting to take their rival down with the hardest blow?
They are family! They are siblings! They are not enemies!
And this is what the Lord is telling ME this morning. YOU are family! YOU are siblings! YOU are not enemies!
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
God’s people are my family. His servants are my siblings. Those He loves, I must love also, because we are in this together. We were dead in trespasses together, He made us alive together, He raised us up together, and He made us sit together. And when we walk together, the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us is made known for all to see because they will know us by our love (John 13:35.)
Do I portray a God of love and unity, or a God of anger and division? How often I wrongly judge another’s motives and heart’s intent. How many times has He said to me “Don’t you have something to say to her?” And how many times have I remained sitting in silence, walking among the world with division stirring in my heart. How difficult it must be for Him to send me out into the world carrying hatred and anger for His children, my family, my siblings. We are in this together!
|The Grand Canyon 8/2011|
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
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