Glenda looked in surprise at her young niece Hailey, sitting in the passenger front seat next to her. Hailey had just given an expression of disgust and it took a moment for Glenda to clue in to the possible triggers. They had been listening to the soundtrack of the movie her youngest son, Toby, was watching on the car video player in the backseat. It was The Grinch Who Stole Christmas cartoon and the scene had just played where the “Grinch’s heart grew threw sizes that day.” What would cause such a negative reaction besides the fact they had listened to it three times already on this trip? Maybe that was all, but maybe there was something more. Glenda took a chance.
“Sorry about having to listen to that movie so many times, it really is the lesser of known evils. Have you ever taken a long road trip with a seven year old?” Glenda gave Hailey an apologetic grin.
Hailey shrugged and changed positions. They had been in the car for two days already and everyone was tired, bored and most of all stiff. “It’s not the repetition that bugs me so much as the bulls…-loney, that they are trying to feed kids all the time that gets to me.” She replied with more than a little heat to her voice.
“What do you mean?” Glenda asked hoping this time a real conversation would happen.
“You know! That whole “the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes…!” People don’t just change like that. People don’t change at all.” Hailey tried to hide the hurt but for all her sixteen years, was still learning the art of disguise; Glenda understood and offered up a prayer for wisdom and words that would heal some of the hurt.
“I agree with you Hailey. You’re right, it is hard for people to change like that- that much, that quickly but they can and do change.” Hailey snorted again and shook her head.
“Well, you could sure fool me.”
“Hailey, let’s look at this for a minute, I’m not trying to change your mind, you think what you want to, but hear me out ok? Have you seen the remake they did of this movie, the one with Jim Carey?” Hailey nodded and gave a smirk.
“Jim Carey was such a hoot in that movie! I love his facial expressions!” Glenda had to concentrate hard on her driving for a minute to suppress a grin that might ruin the moment. Hailey was proving her point for her; “hoot” and “baloney” had not been in this young woman’s repertoire one short year ago.
“Yeah,” Glenda continued, “I like that movie a little better because it shows us why the Grinch is so grinchy. He was hurt badly and he chose to live alone and even worse, he put his heart in a box. My favorite scene in the cartoon movie though is when his heart breaks out of that little magnifying box…x-ray thing… whatever it was. My point is that when our hearts get broken we sometimes put them in a box to protect them. It can take a lot of courage and time to let people get close and trust them again. The bigger the box we hide our hearts in, the longer it takes for God to grow us until our hearts burst out of that box. We are changing, our hearts are healing and growing again, but sometimes the biggest changes take place out of sight.” Glenda allowed the silence to linger hoping her words were finding their mark.
“Do you think she has really changed this time?” Hailey’s voice was small, smaller than Toby’s when he was scared of the dark, tears sprang to Glenda’s eyes and she swallowed before answering.
“Hailey, you’ve changed. God’s got your heart to the point that it’s almost busting out of that box you hid it in, and yes, I do think she has changed. I think God’s got you both right where you’re supposed to be and in a couple of hours you’ll know. You’ll see what I have been hearing for the last six months. Glenda reached out across the car seat and found Hailey’s hand Hailey did not pull hers away.
Eze 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
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