Friday, July 15, 2016

Be better.

I consider myself lucky.  Lucky that my children are both under the age of 2 and they have no idea what is happening to the world around us.  I consider myself lucky that I don't need to have the tough conversations with them or answer the hard questions that really don't have answers.  I consider myself lucky that right now the world is a place of wonder and excitement, not fear and judgment. 

The tough conversations that I have with my almost two year old right include talking about "nice hands."  That is how his daycare teachers remind him not to push, pinch, or pull on other kids.  We have only had one warning about this from his teacher and it hasn't been too much of an issue with how Camden treats Grady at home.  Yesterday, however, I walked into daycare to pick up the boys and I witnessed Camden push a young classmate away from him.  She was doing nothing more than trying to sit on the same bench, which is more than big enough for the two of them.  Immediately, I picked him up, walked over to a quiet area in the room, and had a "talk" with him about his behavior.  I reminded him that we are supposed to treat others with kindness.  We are supposed to "be sweet" and "use our manners" and "show respect" to our classmates, our teachers and our family members. 

As I am in the thick of teaching these life lessons, my heart breaks because I wonder, when did we stop teaching these things?!  At what point did parents and people start teaching such hatred, violence, bigotry, racism, entitlement and exclusion?  I am watching the world around us fill up with more and more sadness and hurt and I'm sitting here thinking that I'm off the hook for the tough stuff just because my kids are little. 

You know what, that is a bunch of garbage.  Its time to call myself out on it.  If anything, now is the time, now is the moment, these kids are the generation for which I am called to step up and do my part to make this world better.  Fellow parents, its time for us to call ourselves out, stop giving ourselves a "pass" and teach our kids to be better, and do better than we are.  It doesn't matter where we live, how sheltered our kids are, or our proximity to the bad.  We have no excuses.  Clearly, the world is dropping the ball in some way.  It's time to raise up an entire generation of children to know that this world can be better and its our responsibility to teach them how. 

But first, my kids will need to know our God.  They need to know our Jesus.  They need to know that they are loved and sought after by a God who created and values EVERY HUMAN life.  EVERY one of his children.  That He died on a cross, not just for them but for every single human walking this earth.  They will need to know that being a Christian is not something to be seen or heard just in word or deed but it stems directly from the heart. They will learn that as long as they invite God to rule over their heart, they will know how to love.  They will know that there is never a question of who deserves to be loved but rather a calling to love even when they feel someone doesn't deserve it.  That love isn't something that is earned but it is something that should be so graciously and abundantly given at all times, in all moments, during all circumstances.  

Its time for a revival.  Its time for all of us to open our eyes and see that something is wrong.  What the world is doing is not working.  When my kids are finally old enough to have an idea what is going on, I will explain to them that the problem started in the heart.  The problem isn't because this person was this religion, that race, or that sexuality.  The problem was in the heart.  I will admit to them that even mommy struggles with problems in her heart.  I will admit that I am also sinful and that I don't always want to treat people the way I am supposed to but because Jesus rules over my heart, I am called to something better.  He makes me better. 

Please parents, its time to reveal the problems in the heart in ourselves, in our own children, and call ourselves to something better.  To teach something better, to show something better, to be better.  I beg of you.  It's not about these lives mattering or those lives mattering more.  Everyone needs to matter.  EVERYONE.  Every movement needs to let go of their divisions, reach across the street, the picket line, the railroad tracks, and collectively agree that LIFE matters.  Plain and simple. 

Dear Jesus,
I am here.  I am here with my very own problems in my heart.  I sit here angry at the world around me.  I am frustrated that my children are growing up in a time where there is so much hurt and so much darkness.  Still, I remember that you created the light and light is more powerful than darkness.  Help me be part of that light.  Help me guide others to your light.  Most importantly, help me guide my children to your light so that they can also show your love.  Your love is so much better than ours.  So much more complete.  I pray for their hearts.  I pray they are tender and strong.  I pray that they are compassionate and gentle.  Father, I lift up this world to you and ask that you work in the hearts of those who are so filled with anger and hatred.  Do things that only you can do.  Reach people that only you can reach.  Be near to us, dear Jesus.  I am so sorry that we keep messing things up.  Help us be better.  Come into our hearts and stay.  Call us to something higher.  Call us to love.  Period.


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