Kids & Parenting
Toddlers and Transgressions
by mike poff
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It is way too easy for someone to get hurt in a mess of toddlers. Even as infants it did not take long before curiosity and varying rates of development saw violations of personal space. At first it was cute and innocent. One of the four would find the hand of another. Soon one boy would be sucking the thumb of his brother or gently kneading his sisterís ear. Before long you might find the more ambulatory tasting the eyes, nose or toes of the less mobile.
Soon sucking became teething and the toothy wet-willies became irritating. Cute explorations gave way to contests of capture and control, with outcomes ranging from minor boo-boos to major outburst of dramatic indignation. Offense began to be taken. The hard hand of self-righteous retribution was soon raised amongst the brethren with a shrill, ageless cry for justice.
Early on we began to coordinate the correction of the wrongs done. Hugs and apologizes are mandatory and insincerity is not tolerated. Still a trip to the swing set where a particularly shiny stone or an unusually appealing clod of dirt is spied can spark conflicting claims of ownership and general discontent in the ranks. Peacemaking can be seen from time to time, even when they donít think youíre watching. Still, not unlike so many adults and especially Christian adults, offense and retribution is much too common.
The gnarly roots of offense spread quickly in hearts were true forgiveness is not applied and worked in liberally. Insincerity to pacify Pops and avoid correction is never enough. Not for the toddling Fab four or for we grown-up types either.
Yep, it is way too easy for someone to get hurt in a mess of toddlers. Sadly we all have a sad propensity to toddle more in our actions than to respect others feelings or to truly forgive the transgressions we suffer. One thing we should never forget is that Jesus is synonymous with forgiveness and He should be applied and worked in liberally every day.
From His perspective all humanity must look like a pool full of toddlers arguing over who jumped in first and is the wettest because of the others jumping in. In all this mess of humanity He keeps His eyes and hands on us, looking for the peacemakers and the sincere forgivers. These He towels off, blesses and rejoices in. I love the times I get to do likewise with my amazing charges.
As we all toddle back inside from a successful swing set experience, His faithfulness to never give up, leave or forsake us makes my heart soar. It all seems easier to forgive when you know you are forgiven. In this the shiny stones and interesting clods in life dim in allure and the path of growth and purpose becomes brighter and our tiny strides stronger and longer.
Prayer and Ponderance
Find a quiet moment, just you no TV, Radio, wild running children, friends, spouses or co-workers. Read over these verses and take in a bit of Godís peace. Be still, be thankful and ask God to expand your heartsí capacity for peace, patience, love and understanding. Even in the mess of this day know He will hear you and meet your need.
Write down the first person that comes to mind when you think about those who have hurt you.
Write down the first person that comes to mind when you think about those whom you have hurt.
Purpose to prayerfully forgive and ask forgiveness of those listed above.
Receive the forgiveness, healing and hope that is and was and shall always be there for you in Christ.
Thank Him and prepare to rejoin the wild running children, friends, spouses or co-workers and walk out your peacemaking.
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