Faster than a monkey on skates, I was changed. But not for the best. My husband, Gene, told me what happened while I was away. The more he explained, the more my eyebrows caved in, the more my teeth clenched, the more my blood boiled. I grew fur and claws. I was the Mama Bear—ready to defend her cubs and even her Papa bear. Grrr!
Too bad my 15 year old son, Andrew, decided to stay home with his dad to get homework finished. If he came with me and his brothers and sister to visit my parents instead, the whole scene could have been avoided and I wouldn’t be growling. But it did, and I am. A mean, angry, fierce Mama Bear.
Andrew and his friend walked past my friend Mary Ann’s house while tossing a football back and forth. Andrew’s friend missed a pass and the football hit the house next to Mary Ann’s. Suddenly, Mary Ann charged out her front door and screamed at the boys. “Why are you hitting my house?”
Of course they responded like any mature youth. They ran the other way. Coals to the fire.
That’s not so bad, I thought. Why did Gene turn into a bear? The story continued:
Then Mary Ann pounded on our door. She proceeded to scream at Gene about our “horrible son” and threatened to have her 21 year old son teach him a lesson and call the cops.
For what? Throwing a ball near her house that didn’t even touch her property? Didn’t she raise two boys? Boys play ball…and miss sometimes. Isn’t she my friend?
My husband works with mentally and physically handicapped adults--he has for twenty years--and knows how to remain calm when dealing with someone out of control. This must have bothered her—she couldn’t get him upset—because she turned on him too.
“I don’t like your attitude either!” she barked. “Blah, blah, blah…”
Gene was trying to figure out what she was so mad at. He called Andrew and his friend over to apologize again and to calm her down. But that didn’t work either. She began screaming about an incident that occurred two years ago. When our kids played “Manhunt” a hide and seek, tag game, one of their friends hid in her backyard and she flipped out, screaming down the block. We forbade our kids from playing that game anymore to keep peace with neighbors. They haven’t played that game since that night. Now what did that incident have to do with football?
At this point, I could feel my transformation. Watch out for Mama Bear!
I imagined mauling my neighbor with words. Harsh words. Slicing words. She was not my friend, but an enemy I wanted to harm.
Okay, I know I don’t sound like a Christian, but…but…
I haven’t talked with Mary Ann yet; I’m waiting for the Mama Bear to stop growling and let the Holy Spirit calm me down to speak in love not hate. But Mama Bear is stubborn. It could take a while.
I look out my window at her yellow car. Grrr!
Help me, Lord.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:12-13 NIV)
Since the Lord tells me to bear with each other and not turn into a bear, I’ll try to let Mama Bear return to hibernating.
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