Monday, July 8, 2013

The Way I Loved You //

It's summer, it's hot, and you're a thirteen year old boy.
Needless to say, a spray bottle full of water is too much for you to resist. In spite of the pleasure you receive from getting unsuspecting people wet with cold sprays, your victims are left feeling less than pleased.

Yesterday I disarmed you of the bottle -- quite an accomplishment as you are much stronger than I am and almost as tall, but I have more years of practice -- and when you asked for it back I had you promise you would not spray it around people who did not want to get wet. Knowing how you look for loopholes and judge the seriousness of your promise on whether or not the one asking you to promise is serious or not, I made sure you understood me and I didn't give the bottle back until you agreed fully. Not even a full minute later you knowingly broke your promise and didn't cease to spray the bottle all around me until I went inside indignantly. 

Today I had been working out in the barn for several hours when I came up to the house for some supplies. Before my eyes could even adjust from the sunshine you had sprayed a full measure of water directly at my neck. I was furious. No, really -- furious. My passionate hatred of injustice and ungentlemanly behavior boiled hot within me in a mere two seconds and came gushing out with heated, serious words that communicated, without a doubt, what a mistake you had made. I, a girl, your sister, the one you promised not to get wet, who had been attacked rather than protected and betrayed rather than respected, was ready to smack you. It registered to my mind that a fruit of the spirit is self-control and as I warned you with my passionate speech about how angry I was I also said he was lucky I was old enough to know I should restrain myself from whacking him. It wasn't until a few minutes later that I recalled that other fruits of the spirit are kindness and gentleness. Whoops. Self-defense has never looked so ugly.

The older you get and the closer I come to moving out the less I feel responsible for teaching and correcting your behavior. Thinking over how I'd responded to your water attack, I didn't want to try to make you apologize or see that you got what you asked for from me, I just kept thinking that I wanted to do the right thing, wanted to set a good example. You had deserved my vengeance but it wasn't kind or gentle of me to lash out at you and I knew I needed to apologize to you. So when I was done in the barn I came to you, hugged you, said I was sorry for yelling at you, and gently explained that while I will always love you I just can't trust your word, but that if you wanted to regain my trust I was sure you'd have plenty of opportunities to keep your word in the future. You were soft, you truly heard me, you didn't justify yourself or play the victim, you just accepted what I said. Everything was right between us again. The slate was wiped clean. 

Through my mistakes and second chances, I'm trying to show you what a standard of grace looks like. If anyone knows the imperfection of human nature, it's you and I. But if anyone knows the sweetness of unconditional love, it's me and you. 

So that's the way I loved you. 

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