Have you ever seen someone fall, and the first thing that comes to your mind is: ‘what were they thinking?’ ‘can’t they see where they are going?’ ‘they need to pay more attention, what is wrong with them?’
The other day, I must confess, we were walking towards a restaurant and I was holding my son Joel’s hand. He was excited we were going to eat together as a family, and he was jumping, moving, and skipping away, full of energy like any happy child. All of a sudden he tripped and fell flat on his tummy, and he began crying very loud.
Hmm, why do we as humans always worry about what others think?
I did not want anyone to notice the loud cries so I tried picking him up quickly ,and the first words out of my mouth were “why aren’t you watching where you are going?” “You see what happens when you don’t pay attention?” My son was hurting, he had just scraped his knee, and the first thing I did was get upset with him for being excited to eat out together. I was more focused on what people might think of his loud cry (or ‘what did she do to the poor child?’), than the fact that he was hurt .
What just happened here??? I felt like the worst mom ever. What is wrong with me, not him? I did a quick self check and immediately stopped my complaining and focused on my son whom I love like crazy. I focused on him, his scratched knee, and how I could make it better. It did not matter what people thought anymore, he could continue crying really loud if he wanted to, he was hurt, and it was ok, because he is my son.
I apologized to my son for my behavior. I asked him if he was ok. I cleaned his knee, gave him a big hug and kiss. His crying stopped and we continued walking towards the restaurant together. We began talking about how in the past he had fallen and gotten right back up. I also mentioned the many times I fell, tripped, and scraped my knee, and got through it ok. I assured him that it was not his fault, we all fall down at times, but getting up and having the certainty that everything will be ok, helps us get through it.
How many times do I fall and God never tells me “I told you so?” why weren’t you looking?” “why did you not follow my teachings?” “why are you so distracted?” Never once does He make me feel like it is my fault for falling. He just extends his hand towards me, and helps me up. He looks at me with eyes full of compassion telling me everything will be ok. He assures me we will get through this together. I can cry as loud as I want and He will never be ashamed of me or concerned about what others may think of me. He hugs me, loves me, holds me, and carries me until I can stand on my two feet. He focuses on me, on my hurt, and my pain, because I am His child. His priority is for me to be ok.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be more like you. Help me to speak words of encouragement and not of condemnation. Help me to lift people up and not pull them down. Help me to love compassionately without being ashamed of who they are. Help me to love like You love, and be there for the hurting just like You are there for me.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8