Thursday, May 28, 2009

Forgiveness Like a Child

I realize that many of my posts involve parenthood, and that's because being "mommy" is teaching me so much about being "faithful." The innocence of a child so often speaks to me on a faith level. Last week, we moved our little one to a new daycare, which meant she had to say goodbye to her friends at the old daycare. I took her by for what I thought would be over her head--maybe she would wave bye-bye, but that would be it. So, it was a shock to see her run over and hug her friends. She understood, at least a little, that this was a bye-bye moment and that she needed to do something special. It was the first time I had ever seen her hug another person, so it didn't all compute right away. But later, when I was thinking back on it, I remembered the shocking person she had hugged. In my parental pride for her new accomplishment, I had missed a theological moment. Since she had been going to this daycare, one little boy had continuously shown aggression toward her. He scratched my precious baby's face and eyes. He was a bully. He was bigger than her, older than her, and she was not yet walking so was unable to get away from him. The workers began to separate him from her because he would go after her to release his aggression. I'll admit I am being a little overly dramatic in the description of these events--it was probably not premeditated and just an older child's way of treating someone as he had been treated, but still, it's my baby, so it's a big deal. Anyway, when I would see this child at daycare, I would think, "There's the little bully." I only assumed that my sweet girl would have the same thoughts about her classmate, that she would not want to be near him. But the day we went on our bye-bye visit, she ran up to little bully man, threw her arms around him, and they both giggled. They were friends! I didn't even notice this until the replay in my mind. And as I hit rewind, I was irked that she didn't get who he was. Why was she hugging the little bully man who hurt her? And then, I hit rewind with my "preacher's cap" on, and I realized, to her, he wasn't little bully man, he was a friend, with whom she'd had some problems, but none too big that they couldn't forgive each other and still be friends. Her heart does not carry with it the baggage that mine does. I still think of my own little bully man, and I think it may be many years before he and I shall hug, but it is my prayer that God would make my heart more like the one of a little child. Who was it that said, "To enter the kingdom, you must become like a child"?