If you’ve been following this blog very long, you’ve read many times that perspective is everything. It’s true. And here is another example. This past week there was another kafuffle with my grandsons–this one even worse than the last one. And of course, it was the middle child again.
He’s not your classic middle child that blends into the woodwork and gets lost. No, no, he’s got way to much personality and energy for that, even at seven, in the first grade. Last time he had a knife in his backpack, and lied about it. This time he was bullying a kid and lied about it. My daughter lay awake two nights worrying and praying before I even learned about it.
When I heard, my immediate thought was a memory–watching through the window as he ran over to the side of the street and sat down and cried while all the kids at the bus stop were taunting him for throwing something on the ground. He was in kindergarten then. It broke my heart. That afternoon I asked him how it had felt and he blew it off.
But now a year later, his big brother (his seatmate) had asked to have his seat changed on the bus, and the rejection and hurt was showing by picking on someone smaller.
When it came out, he admitted that he had hit him, but lied about forcing him to bring him toys. As my daughter said, “It doesn’t even sound like him.” She was sick, of course, but grateful the parent had come to her instead of going to the school.
When she told me, it was pretty much over, except for consequences, and all I could say was “Thank God he is getting all these huge life lessons in the early years instead of having hundreds of days and weeks and months to internalize negative patterns, feelings and thoughts! It’s a hard lesson but you handled it so well it’s better than if it hadn’t happened!”
Freedom isn’t the ability to do what you want, no law, lawlessness. Freedom is the ability to gain wisdom through learning. It’s growing out of the childish perspective to pass on your hurt to someone weaker–because you can. It’s the chance to grow into seeing things from God’s perspective. He absorbed the hurt, took it into himself and transformed it into healing.
All great leaders have done the same thing beginning with Job and Moses. there was Gandhi in India, Mother Theresa in Calcutta?, and Martin Luther King Jr. in America. And now the AME church is doing the same thing–God bless them! We must learn or be swallowed up by evil; it comes too naturally to us. What starts out as evil can be transformed into healing experience for those who are willing to learn–even through suffering.