Monday, August 4, 2008

Shabby Clothing

I do not have abandoned compassion. You know, the kind that loves deeply everything and everyone in its path. It's as if there is a line in my heart that defines, "Only this far, and no further." We're not talking hard-heartedness here. Not meanness or rudeness, but the difference between the love a mother has for her own kids and the kindness she has for the neighbor kids or the kids she babysits.

We've had a tiring week. Nothing tragic, just a few bites and slaps and a lot of toddler defiance. Nothing we can't handle with grace and relative ease. But instead of basking in the strides we're making, my sinful nature automatically focuses on the difficulty of having someone else's child in the house and how he'd be different if he'd been born here. We've gone from "NO!" and temper tantrums to "Yes, please," and "Thank you." We're communicating in sentences and no longer putting little feet on the dinner table. Those are successes! And yet I get bogged down in the size 5 diapers--why isn't this child potty trained?--and the stench emanating from his mouth--he's on public aid: why hasn't he seen a dentist?

Where others may see my outward kindness, God and I can clearly see the proud and impatient toddler-like woman I am below the surface. I like things my way, and right now normal is out of whack. My spirit is irritable. But I don't believe this gives me the right to give up or even to pout. Grown-ups need to Do the Hard Things, too.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

I think my coat needs some mending.


eureka said...

You will make a difference. This scene came to mind.

eureka said...

You are The Home Despot. You can do it; we can help.