My daughter was getting ready to take a bath and as usual was gathering an arsenal of toys to accompany her. I noticed one of the toys was a battery operated (Oh My Heavens make it quit talking) toy and they’ve been warned to not take those toys into the bath or they will destroy it. I knew the outcome, but said nothing this time.
Not long after the water quit running, I heard the screech that signaled a toy must have crossed over and was now resting in a better place. I poked my head in and she held up the now silenced forever toy.
“The directions said ‘to not submerge in water,’ and you’ve been told,” I ticked off the previous instruction.
Bath time no longer joyous, she toweled off and took the toy to its final resting place. The weight of what had happened crushed her little 5yo heart.
Why did I not stop her?
I knew the outcome?
Instead I chose to regurgitate the directions after the fact.
I was a jerk.
There was a girl who was going through a rough spot and talked about how she felt. Someone responded to this by quoting a scripture that seemed to be a passive-aggressive response to her troubles. In the midst of her having a very human moment, she was chastised with Biblical backup.
Folks, this is no different than reading the directions back to someone while they are clearly dealing with the hurt of consequences.
Yes, the Bible is referred to as “the sword of truth,” but why swing it wildly when the opposition has clearly been defeated. God’s love is not a weapon to be whipped out of the holster to threaten, belittle or fire a warning shot.
Those who are suffering the natural order of consequence are usually deafened by the sound of their own spirit breaking. All the “Thou” and “Thee” is falling on deaf ears. There is no benefit of us standing on our righteous feet, hands on hips singing a little “I told you so,” when another human has fallen.
It just makes you a jerk.
Once my daughter had put the poor muted toy to rest, I picked it back up and did what I could to dry it out. Once dried, I put new batteries in and it begun to chatter again. Hearing the incessant calling for “Momma” from the toy, my daughter came smiling and cradled the toy against her heart. She may remember the lesson, she may not. I can guarantee though that she won’t remember me repeating the directions back to her, but she will remember that I helped fix it for her.
When one of us has fallen, the thing that sticks is who reached down in the middle of the mess to help fix what was broken. Brandishing your “Sword of Truth” from the sidelines only makes you a jerk, but keeping your mouth shut and using your hands to help and not hurt, is where the Truth can be revealed. It’s where the seed can be planted in healing ground.
The Bible should be more of a show and tell, than a script pulled at opportune times to beat a dead horse.
God is love. God is forgiving. God is all about accepting the sinners and creating a new life.
Show it, don’t just tell.
Categories: july 2013 diary entry