I've never claimed to be a writer, but it's nice to have a place to put my thoughts down once in a while.



I've said it in previous posts. I’m not a wordsmith. Never have been, never will claim to be. But I’m going to try to express my thoughts on this subject.

I’ve been working with the kids at church on our Christmas program. A few nights ago, we were just finishing up our practice when two of the girls had some words. Later, I was talking with one about something entirely different when the other came into the room and started mouthing off. I told her to calm down. I wanted to try to get to the bottom of the problem. Instead, she started yelling at me although I had nothing to do with it. She started to walk away and I asked her to come back. She flat out said, well, yelled “NO!”, threw her “whatever” hand up at me and continued to walk away. Again, I told her to come back, as she rounded the corner and continued on her way. I didn’t literally see red, but that’s how I felt. I was so angry. By this time the first little girl was in tears and hyperventilating. I calmed her down the best I could. When I had a chance I went to find the one who back talked me. I told her that I was angry, that she disrespected me (her teacher), I deserved an apology and would be happy to accept one when she was ready. I also told her she owed the other little girl an apology as well. She ignored me the rest of the night, which was fine. She needed space, I know when not to push.

Whenever I have an argument with one of the kids, I feel terrible about it. Right or wrong, I feel awful. Not necessarily because I got mad, but that my relationship with the child is in a bad spot. I know that it passes, and all will be forgiven. I feel the same way when any of my relationships are rocky. With my family, co-workers, whoever. It gives me a feeling of, for lack of a better word, ickiness. So I know that I was right to demand respect, but I couldn’t help but review my actions. Was I setting a good example for this child and others? Maybe not. I feel horrible about that. When I went to bed, I felt horrible and sad. When I woke up the next morning, I felt the same way.

We had another practice the next night and she came and acted like nothing had happened. At the end of the night, when the other kids were out of the room, I told her I shouldn’t have fussed at her in front of other people, but that she shouldn’t have disrespected me. I told her I was still waiting for that apology. She threw out a sarcastic “sorry” and rushed out of the room. I said, sarcastically, “I really believe that.” Probably shouldn’t have said it, but I don’t think she heard me anyway. I thought she needed more time but was determined that I was not going to forget. I would see her again in a few days and would play it by ear whether to remind her or not. At this point, I was feeling better about the argument and that our relationship was on the mend.
As it happened, I took her and her sister home. On the way, she sat in the front seat with me. I was mildly surprised. I figured she would want to put as much distance between us as possible. (Not that it would be that much distance considering I drive a Neon). Anyway, as we’re driving down the road, she says, “I’m sorry Miss Kara”. I was so surprised, I blurted out “for yesterday?” She said yes. I said “Thank you”. All was right with the world again. You may wonder if she really meant it. I’ve known her most of her life. I know her characteristics, I know when she’s faking. I believe she was sincere.

After I dropped them off I got to thinking about the whole situation. About how I felt when she was separated from me because of what she did. And about how I felt when she told me she was sorry (for real). I realized there is something I can learn from this whole experience.

When we disobey God, we are separated from Him. I think I know, in just the smallest inkling of a way, how He must feel when we sin. Being a perfect God, He can’t look upon sin. That separates us from Him. He loves us so much, how must He feel when we disobey Him. It hurt me that this girl chose her own path and disobeyed me. She completely disregarded my feelings and authority. How much more must God feel that when we do the same to Him. He knows each one of us better than we know ourselves. He created us to be with Him. To turn our backs on Him…I can’t imagine His sadness.

And I think I know, in just the smallest, tiniest, inkling of a way, how He must feel when we come back to Him and say we’re sorry. I was so happy when she apologized. I wanted to pull the car over and hug her and tell her I love her. What joy God must have when we come back to him. His creation, His love…

I also realize more clearly why we must ask forgiveness for each sin we commit. Maybe I’m the only one who does it, but sometimes I say a kind of generic prayer… “Forgive me for my sins.” But God is saying, which ones? There’s this one and this one… Of course, I mean that I’m sorry for all of them. But how can I know not to do it again, if I don’t ask for forgiveness for specific sins. If I don’t realize what it was I did wrong, I’m likely to repeat it. I try to remember to ask God to show me what I’ve done wrong and to help me correct it and not make the same mistake. Being human, I’m bound to mess up again. And this girl and I, we’re bound to mess up again too. But here I can see, in just the tiniest, smallest inkling of a way, God’s mercy. We keep messing up, and He keeps forgiving. I have to remember that the next time I get angry at one of the kids. If it weren’t for God’s mercy I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I have to try to model myself after Him. And hopefully, teach these kids to do the same through my example. And that means asking their forgiveness when I’ve done something wrong. They have to know it’s okay to admit when you’re wrong, even when you’re an adult. It’s okay, and it’s important to admit when you’re wrong and do your best to make amends.

I hope I’ve made sense. As I said before, I’m not a wordsmith.

If you've stuck with me this long, thanks for reading.