And sometimes, the things he says comes back to me later..and I think, "Wow! Out of the mouths of babes"...Kids do say the darndest things...and sometimes they turn out to be great lessons for us grown folk.
This past Sunday is a wonderful example. We had just arrived home from church. As we were getting out of the car, G dropped the craft that he had made in his preschool class at church that morning. It was a paper that had a picture of Jesus on it. I'm ashamed to say that I'm not even really sure what the lesson was about that morning. But small things like dropping his paper..or his shoe being untied..or others walking faster than him...or anything at all really..affects G differently than it does other kids. It sends him into a tailspin sometimes. He gets terribly upset over what the rest of us may not think is a very big deal..
"G. G, calm down...look at me." (You got to get him to look at you or nothing happens)"What's wrong?"
"I DROPPED MY JEESSUUUSSSS!"
"Okay, you dropped your Jesus?"
"Look, G. There it is. Right beside you. See it?"
(He's wailing the entire time)
"See it? Look G..there's your Jesus. Do you see it?"
Wailing stops. Bottom lip still stuck out. He looks down.
"See it? There's your Jesus. Do you see it?"
"Yes, ma'am." Sniff Sniff
"Ok, good. Pick it up. Got it? Ok, let's go in the house."
"Okay, Mama", he says, smiling ear to ear as he skips happily up the steps.
And there you have it. G dropped his Jesus. And it upset him terribly. But once he calmed down and was able to think about the situation, he realized it wasn't THAT big of an issue to begin with. He let himself get so terribly upset when all he really had to do was bend down and pick his Jesus back up and go on with life.
Today, I started thinking about this encounter in a different way. We as Christians do sometimes "drop our Jesus" too. I know, I know, it's crazy but hear me out...
Have you ever dropped your Jesus? I have. I try not to. I try very hard on a daily basis to hold Him tightly to me...to adhere to His teachings..to treat others the way I want to be treated..to speak kind words in love..to recognize the needs of those around me and do whatever I can to help...to never judge others or their actions..to try to understand others points of view before I open my mouth to tell them how very wrong they are and how very right I am. I try. I really do. I fail sometimes. In fact, I drop my Jesus more times than I'd like to admit.
A couple of weeks ago I recieved a phone call from the grandmother of E. E is our 2nd foster son who went home at the end of March. You can read a little about our time with E HERE. "Valerie, they're coming to get E again!!", was the first thing I heard after saying hello. "She (his Mom) has messed up again and they (DSS) are coming to pick him up!! Can you take him? PLEASE!", she begged me. "What?", I said. "What happened? Calm down and tell me what happened!"
Once she told me what had occurred to get her family back to this point I told her I would call her back. I wanted to call E's Mom...
Now in my defense..I want you to understand that I have stood in support of this woman since the day I met her. Hugged her neck and told her how proud we were of her recovery efforts. Rejoiced with her in court when the judge said E would be coming back to her even though I was afraid that the very thing that has happened was going to happen. Prayed for her and her family. And countless other things I believe God would have me do to encourage and support her. I tried my very best to show her Jesus.
But that day...when I learned of the things our E had been through in the 6 months since he'd been home...well..my human motherly emotions took over. I said things I know for a fact Jesus would not have said. I said things that I'm sure added much more shame and guilt to her shoulders than she was already carrying. I let it all out. My frustrations with her..my frustrations with the system..everything. I put it all on her. I dropped my Jesus and let all my anger, sadness, and frustration out. I called her back later on that evening to find out what happened and where E had been taken. I swallowed my pride..picked up my Jesus..and apologized. I told her, once again, that I was here for her and E. If there is anything I can do to help or support her in any way I will do just that. Why did I do that, you ask? Because that's what my Jesus would have me do.
Over the last few weeks, I've watched as several of my dearest Christian friends dropped their Jesus. Someone has said something to offend them or something has happened to put them on alert. They feel that their reputations are threatened or feel someone they love or respect or admire's reputation is at risk. Their pride has been hurt. Egos have gotten in the way and instead of turning the other cheek or speaking out in love...they dropped their Jesus. They say the things they say are "in love" but are in fact filled with malice. The words and the way they have been said are malicious..causing nothing more than further discouragement and discord. They are casting those with a different opinion than their own aside as if they too are not God's child...chosen and adopted by our Father in heaven. I say all of that to say this..
Cling to what you know is true and good. You don't always have to be right. You don't always have to have the last word. It's okay. Show them Jesus. Let His light shine through you to them. Turn the other cheek. Speak in love. Offer to pray for them..with them. Just don't drop your Jesus or worse yet, use His word to prove your point.
And if you do drop your Jesus...once you realize it, stop and think about the situation..is it really that big of a deal? Probably not. Can it be handled a different way? Most certainly yes. Pick up your Jesus...and move on with life. Speak in love. Never to admonish. Never to cause hurt or pain to someone who is already hurting. You may not understand their situation. They may be fighting a battle you know nothing about. Some people share more than others. Then again, you may be so tired of encouraging..supporting..praying. But pick up your Jesus anyway and continue to do what you know He would have you do. I'm thankful that we serve a God that never tires. A God that is never burdened by our troubles but promises to help us through them if we only call on Him. I'm thankful that He loves me just as much as He loves those that I'm not in agreement with on any given situation. I'm thankful that I am just as much His child as anyone else. I'm thankful that each time I've dropped my Jesus, He is right there beside me. People will always let you down. Disappoint you in some way. That's okay. They have their struggles too. Try to see them and treat them as Jesus would.