I wear it hoping that it will become true of me … LOVE Jn 13:35.
That somehow the feel of it around my neck will make me mindful and aware.
That the clanking of the pearl against the metal will help me remember.
And it isn’t even 10am and I glance over to see one child hitting another and the other fighting back. Have I been such a poor model that their instinctual reaction is to just cave to anger and go with their flesh? Did it not matter? The words from Matthew 5 that they’ve hidden in their hearts over these weeks, the words we’ve been learning together?
And the crazy thing is, when I ask, they can recite them. They haven’t forgotten…
Blessed are the peacemakers…
Blessed are you when others revile you…
…everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…
Yet though they can say the words, it’s obvious they haven’t sunk in–haven’t soaked the soil of their hearts.
And my choice is right here before me, because their actions beg for correction.
And it’s the biggest test of all when no one is watching. When it’s just me and them—these children who are part of me, who’ve inherited more than just skin and flesh.
And inside, my heart sinks, and I feel defeat because their actions remind me how I fail too. Even the chain around my neck doesn’t prevent my failure.
It is my daily battle to love.
I bend to eye level and we discuss their fight. They know they were wrong and hang their heads as I talk, and their eyes show me they’ve heard it before, that they already know.
I explain and teach how it’s not natural to return kindness when wronged, not easy to be slow to anger, not instinctual to just love.
But He has called us to love. When we deserved death, He died in our place. And when we were unlovable, He loved us first.
This. This is the daily hill I climb…
To administer justice with wisdom.
To provide instruction with kindness.
To give grace in the right moments and extend mercy too.
And most of all, in the midst of it all, to love as He loves.
I’ve been given these mama moments to practice loving. And oh how many chances I have every single day! Times to practice cultivating a love like His … a love that will mark me as His.
Oh how I want to grow. To seize my flesh, to halt my nature, to pause and consider and love instead. Because I want to be known as His disciple, and I want my children to be known as His disciples too.
May this chain I wear remind me to what I am called. To love.
To simply love one another.
And because of that, to be known as His.
In which circumstance are you most challenged to love?
How do you overcome?
**Linking with Denise in Bloom, Women Living Well, Grace at Home, Thought Provoking Thursday