Thursday, February 5, 2015

What matters

This morning I asked Lanie if she was planning to hand out Valentines at school.

"No," she said. She walked away to get her things together for piano.

I followed, concerned. I love Valentine's Day.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because the Valentines look like they're for babies and some of the kids make fun of them," she said.

Why is it I felt the sting? That someone would be rude about a kind gesture. That my child's feelings were ever hurt by the unkind remarks of another. That some kids' hearts were already tainted, that the fun of getting a card or a treat was a platform for shunning and mocking and ingratitude. The giving spirit I was trying to cultivate in my child was being chipped away by the very people I was encouraging her to reach out to.

I stayed quiet.

She murmured something under her breath.

"What?" I asked, tentatively.

"Nothing."

This year, we'll bake chocolate heart cookies (and maybe a new kind that has marshmallow fluff because they look so pretty!). I will package them up for our neighbors, and the kids and I will go and deliver them.

I was thinking on a scripture about not giving up on doing good, because there were plenty of times I did want to give up.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9, NLT.

There was a time I reached out repeatedly and there was no harvest--but maybe the harvest wasn't quite what I thought it would be. Maybe the harvest was a principle that would grow and mature in my children. How do I teach this to a daughter who's been wounded by words?

I remember last year she gave out cards to classmates, and she included every person. Other kids handed out Valentines too. A boy thanked her and said, "You're the only one who gave me something."

We talked and I tried to get her to see that what matters isn't the unkindness of others, but the kindness in her to another.

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