Twice now she said, “You never listen to me.”
Never is big and I’m pretty sure “never” is not accurate, but to her, it is.
To her, it’s never.
My insides hurt and I want to say, “Yes I do!” I want to defend myself. But what is the good in that? So I tell her I will listen. And I tell her I try and always listen and be fair and really hear what she’s saying, but sometimes I don’t do it right. I ask her to come to me. “You feel offended, and that I’m treating you unfairly?” “Yes, and I’m sad and angry and I don’t know why.” “Okay, let’s talk about that.”
She talks, I hear and take in, and I try to unravel the web of bitterness in a little ones heart. Strand by strand I gently pull until we get a little closer to the knot being undone. I can see the knot, but I know that I can’t get it out, it’s too tight. I ask her if we can pray. She says yes. We go to the only One who can untangle our mess, all the mess that is of hurt, self-righteousness, anger, and un-forgiveness.
She lingers on my lap for awhile, her head on my shoulder.
We just sit.
How tender is a young heart, and how easily wounds fester. I’m 32 and I wonder at the wounds in my own heart. I feel more untangled now than ever; freedom is all over me because of Him. But I have understanding; I’ve lived and I’ve fought for freedom. My little ones, they don’t understand the fullness of forgiveness and sin and pain and injustice. They haven’t lived enough. It’s confusing for them, they just know how they feel. I’m the sorter-outer.
We, us mamas and daddies, we’re the ones who have to keep at the sorting. We must keep on listening, really listening, discerning, and teaching our babes so they can be open to freedom. We help make the way for Jesus. With compassion, patience, and time we give to the work of sorting the heart strings so He can come in tie them up new and beautiful.
It’s slow and meticulous, and it requires nothing short of grace.
“God puts the fallen on their feet again.” Psalm 147:6