The noise from the direction of the living room was growing louder by the minute. I grabbed a paper towel to dry my hands and headed that direction. Then silence suddenly filled the house after a crash of glass. I shook my head. It was probably the other lamp.
Just as I made it to the doorway, both boys spoke at once. Aaron insisting it was David and David blaming Aaron.
Both fidgeted as I looked them and the living room over. Yep, my other crystal lamp would be joining its matched partner in the Wednesday trash pickup. I shrugged, thinking at least they’d be together.
Turning my attention back to my identical, dark-haired, troublesome five-year olds, I asked what I often considered to be a risky question. “Okay, what happened this time?”
As both boys spoke at once again, I halted them with a hand. “Boys, let’s do this one at time. Aaron you start. David, you go sit on the couch and Aaron you come here to me.
I ignored David’s mumbling about Aaron always getting to go first as well as the elbow that Aaron slung in David’s direction as he moved over to stand in front of me.
Aaron kept looking down at his tennis shoes. Impatient, I prodded. “Spill it!”
I steeled myself against the chocolate brown eyes looking up at me as Aaron began his version. “Mrs. Miller, our Sunday school teacher said we was supposed to share, and it was selfish not to. She said Jesus shared with us because of the nails and the cross. Jesus wasn’t full of selfishness. Not like David. I wanted David’s new truck, and he wouldn’t let me have it. So, I took it so David could be like Jesus. Only, he ain’t like Jesus. He took it back. Mom, I was only trying to help him be like Jesus, that’s all.”
I closed my eyes, thinking to myself that nothing took the prize like the twisted logic of a five-year-old. Weary, I told Aaron to go sit on the couch and asked David to come tell his side. “Okay, David is there any particular reason why you didn’t want to share with your brother?”
“Aw Mom, I didn’t wanna be like Jesus. Besides, you told Dad this morning that you were tired of giving Aunt Julie stuff ‘cause she always lost it. Why do I halfta be like Jesus if you don’t?”
In my mind, I prayed, Lord …spare me from my children or rather give me the strength to spare them from me. To David, I said. “Please go sit down on the couch with your brother.”
Slowly, I went to kneel down in the carpet before them. I wasn’t sure what to say to deal with them and this never ending issue of selfishness. Aaron had said it best when he made the comment that Christ wasn’t full of selfishness. “Father”, I prayed, “how do I make them understand that?”
Suddenly the verse from 1 Corinthians 10:24 (NIV) came to mind, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”
“Boys, you know why Jesus wasn’t full of selfishness?” I continued as they both shook their heads no. “Because He was full of love. You both know that Jesus loved us so much that he let people hammer nails into his hands. He gave up everything he had because he loved us. The only way that we can honor that love is by giving it back to others. It isn’t about what we want. It’s about what others want and need from us. Do you understand?”
Both boys nodded and then hesitated. David asked. “Can I ever play with my truck if I get like Jesus?”
I started to reply, but Aaron spoke up first. “We can both be liked Jesus and play with it at the same time, can’t we?" David smiled with acceptance.
I reached up and hugged them both. “Boys, have at it, but do it in your bedroom because I’ve got say goodbye to my last crystal lamp with a dust pan.”
Both boys squeezed me tight and whispered. “We’re sorry.” Then, they raced to their bedroom.
I went to get the broom and dustpan. I stopped on the way to call my sister and told her to come get the dress.
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