Friday, February 5, 2010

It did NOT count... Seeking to Love Better

Lord - Grant me the Love you have for others. Show me how to see them like you do. It should be so easy, yet I stumble.  Amen.

Sweet Pea followed her with no judgments.  Then,  she came to me saying the Little Girl was not playing nice. The Little Girl was controlling the playground equipment ordering all of the kids to lay down and "go to sleep" or be "sent to detention." (I am guessing that most of the homeschooling kids she was playing with had no idea what "detention" was or why anyone would choose to go there.)

This was the Little Girl you don’t want your child to hang out with at the park for fear that they will hear something or be taught something that you would rather protect them from…

This was the Little Girl when asked "where is your mommy?" said her mommy was not there – she lived only 4 blocks away and had come with her brother on her bike.

Yes, four blocks away – I don’t even let my Sweet Pea go to the mail box out of my sight alone.

The Little Girl learned my children’s names quickly and used them as if we had all come to the park together on a play date.

I never asked her what her name was or how old she was.

My children got thirsty – and I brought them all water bottles and a snack of healthy pre-cut apples with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Her mother if she was even at home had sent her with nothing… the Little Girl was thirsty.

I was Thirsty. It was a hot day, and I wanted to drink my own water.

The Little Girl complained to me, and stated she was not going to ride all the way home – it was too far to go for a drink. I suggested maybe there was a water fountain nearby or in the building next door.
I did not want to share. I wanted her to go away.

My children were there waiting and watching and listening. Other mothers were watching.

I gave her my water. She may have said “Thank You” but I don’t remember it. It was casual as if I was expected to bring her water… that it was normal to eat a stranger’s apples and take her bottle of water.

My children would not have gone near another mother to ask for a snack and water on a playground even if it was someone they knew. They would wait to be invited. I can't even imagine my children taking apples from a stranger.

Manners aside… 

My Sweet Pea watched and questioned.  

When the little girl skipped off to play and scream at some other children nearby, Sweet Pea asked quietly, 
“Why Mommy did you give her your water?”

I answered, "The Bible says that what we do for the least of these we do unto Him."

Answer was accepted. Play was resumed. The water bottle went to the side on the bench with barely a sip taken from it. Apples were turned down the second time around. The water bottle was left as waste with only a sip missing…

I was thirsty.

I acted correctly. I said the right thing. To anyone watching or listening they heard it right…

But it did not count… there will be no check in the box for kindheartedness…

I did it – but I did not do it well.

My children may have learned the right way to behave on the playground that day, but
I did not love her like Jesus.

I tried, but failed. Lord, give me another chance.

Unknown to all but me  - in my van sat at least 10 more water bottles in the trunk. They were hot. I waited until I got home to fix an icy cup of water with a lemon. I waited to drink as if I was punishing my heart for not feeling the love.

I pray that my heart follows my actions. That the things I know to be right and want to feel follow my actions…

Lord, give me a heart for others. Give me a heart that melts. Give me compassion and love to the least of these. And Lord, until I can feel it, let me do it anyway.  Amen.

Love one another. John 13:34
You should love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for being so honest in this post. It really made me stop and examine myself for similar attitudes. I came up lacking. I'm praying about this in myself too.

    Have a blessed day!

    Jennifer Cross Janes