(Originally posted on our former blog site on 10/9/2013)
Most of my best mom moments happen when I am distracted. And by “best” mom moments, I mean to say that the ones I wish I could have prevented for various reasons but find quite funny looking back. The most memorable example yet happened only a few months back…
While sitting in our one-day little girl’s room I found myself deeply lost in a phone conversation. Normally I am pretty great at multitasking and keeping an eye out on my kiddos while I am on the phone but on this day, I most certainly was not paying close enough attention.
In one few second lull in the conversation I realized that I hadn’t heard Jacob (my feisty almost two year old) make much noise in the last few minutes even though he had been playing in the same room that I had wandered into. While not too concerned at first, I casually looked over the room.
Still talking to my friend of course.
I spotted his feet sticking out from beside the bed, close to where I had placed my purse and I slowly sauntered in that direction.
As I got closer to where Jacob had planted himself on the floor I realized that not only was he close to my purse but he was also equally close to our cat’s litter box.
I was still talking.
I covered the phone to whisper “Jacob” in hopes to get his attention and see what my little guy was up to. At that moment Jacob turned around, and well- I stopped talking.
Jacob was holding something between his thumb and pointer finger that I couldn’t really recognize from the short distance between us. From where I was standing it could have easily been a tossup between a tootsie roll found in my purse or a piece of cat turd from the little box of horrors.
And before I put two thoughts together to move forward to get to him, Jacob had put said unidentified object into his mouth.
There was a moment of disbelief that followed. A battle of thoughts going on in my head that caused what I am sure was only a second to feel like minutes- was that a tootsie or a turd?
TOOTSIE OR TURD child??!!!
And then when I had snapped out of it, I quickly opened his mouth, stuck my finger in and pulled out the worst smelling piece of soggy cat poop that I had smelled in a while. I almost barfed.
What in the world prompted my child to not only pick up, but subsequently place in his mouth, a piece of cat turd?! Does he have no sense of smell or common sense? I know he is a baby and all but when exactly do we get the “poop is not a food item” idea. Heaven knows that animals have yet still to figure it out.
I ended my call, threw Jacob in a bathtub and began scrubbing his tongue, teeth and gums for any residual poop. You know when people say that their breath smells like poop when they wake up? Well I can say with all sincerity that unless you’ve eaten a turd that your breath most certainly does not. Poop breath is much, much worse.
I share this story with you because like most things in my life God used it to point something out to me.
Recently there have been many things that have not only happened in my life but in the lives of those around me. I often find myself talking to friends and family about situations they are facing and in that moment of sympathy and love for them I am faced with many new feelings.
If they feel betrayed, well I feel betrayed. If they feel angry, then I feel angry. If they are sad, my heart is full of sadness. The Bible says to “weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice” and I am pretty great at doing that. Sometimes I even find myself a few days later still feeling those feelings of betrayal, anger and sadness.
I justify within myself that I am allowed to be because the Bible tells us to “carry one another’s burden’s” (Galatians 6:2). It’s ok to hold onto these feelings because I am carrying their burden after all… right?
So so wrong. The word used in Galatians is “burden” not “offense”. I know it is super funny when you run across those Pinterest eCards that say something to the effect of “if my sister is mad at you then I am too” but the reality is that we were not meant to carry one another’s offenses.
I am sad and even sometimes angered that those things happened to you but I cannot let it taint the love I have for others, even the one who is the cause of your pain. If it did then I most certainly am not living according to the Word. The Word that tells me to love my neighbor, and love my enemy (and in this case, love YOUR enemy).
So don’t hate me when I don’t hate them with you. Don’t get offended if I don’t act equally offended as you.
I just have this feeling that God is looking down when we share our situations with others and is waiting to see if we will pick up the tootsie or the turd. Will we pick up their burden or their offense? Be there for your friends and family, love on them, support them, but decide within yourself that you will not sacrifice your convictions for them.
I am your friend. I am for you not against you. I will carry your burden… but I cannot, and - for the sake of my own heart - will not, carry your offense.
HOW TO COMFORT A FRIEND:
1. Be a Peace-maker
James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
2. Pray for them and with them
James 5:13-16 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
3. Encourage them to forgive their offender
Matthew 5:43-45 You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven
4. Remind them that they CAN trust God
Romans 12:18-20 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
5. Never underestimate the power of just being there
Romans 12:10-13 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.