Recently, we were at the friendly place where the golden Arches hang, that place that kids know simply by the giant yellow icon that draws them in. We were there on special Monday, when it's just $1.99 to have a meal that's suppose to make you happy...therefore there were lots of kids enjoying the white meat substances and greasy potatoes.
I had delightfully sat down with two friends to enjoy some conversation while our kids ran around in the (impossible to climb quickly when your child cries) tubes and slides.
Another child that we didn't know came up to tell us our kids where being mean. Then our kids came down saying the same thing, to which the stranger said oh it's not these kids it's another. I know I was confused too. The two of us peered into the structure not seeing another culprit in eyesight. That's because he was hiding out! A few minutes later he appeared and my friend and I made eye contact that said, "there he is, that rascal." We continue to visit and the kids play...then it happened.
Hiding boy was crouched at the bottom of the slide when my son and his friend came down and sneaky was waiting with his fist ready and started pounding. We jumped up and I saw the red mark under Little K's eye. I did not see the swinging, though my friend did.
At that moment, when Little K said with a quivering lip, "he hit me momma." I understood what I've heard to be true of mama bears protecting their cubs. I didn't want to hurt the poor perpetrator, but I did want to protect my son with all my might and right this injustice done to him.
I asked calmly, hoping that it wasn't purposeful, "with his elbow, or foot, maybe while you were sliding?" Little K responds as he balls up his fist, "no with his fist right on my face."
Another round of mama bear instincts went off.
I took a deep breath and calmly asked the little boy what happened. Of course, he became mute upon his offense being brought into the light. Then we went to talk to his mom and there was apologies and forgiveness as appropriate.
What did I realize? I realized how fiercely my heart goes into protection mode for one of my own. I realized how much I wanted to right the injustice done, to bring the little guy's mistake to light and to bring about character change in him as well as take away the pain from my son. I wanted to be angry, but when I looked into the offender's little shy eyes, I softened.
I took him to his momma.
When I looked into my son's eyes, I wanted to hug and make it all better, take away any pain.
I thought later that day how much God defends me, how much God loves me, how much he wants the best for me. How he calls me His "royal priesthood, a people for His own possession," (1 Peter 2:9). He wants to take care of me and see me love Him more. What this verse says is I am in God's family.
He is the King, we are sons and daughters of the King.
When my offenses are brought into the light, am I like the fighter at the playground? Do I look the other way or blame something else...or am I quick to apologize, ask forgiveness and walk in the light?
I felt just a glimpse of the heart of God, in wanting to stand for those who have been offended. In wanting to bring sin to light so that reconciliation can happen. I cannot begin to imagine how much God loves me, but as I move and navigate in this world with three little jewels that look like me and my husband I learn a little bit more about the depth of my Heavenly Father's love for me.
I'm thankful that God loves me more than a momma bear and her cub. I don't fully understand, but I want to continue learning more about that love for the rest of my life.