This week we had an interesting experience when some of our good friends, at our church Christmas party no less, let us know in a humorous manner, to them, that they appreciated Wyatt educating their daughter on the meaning of the middle finger!
“WHAT?!?!”, I gasped sucking down an combination of medium rare steak, broccoli salad, and salsa as it lodged in my throat and I saw my life passing before my eyes thinking, “This is it, I’ll never get to taste that quesadilla cheesecake over there.” (Yes, I like my steak medium rare! That’s how God intended for steak to be eaten! If he wanted it to be eaten well done he would given us cardboard as a food group!)
Once my food was dislodged, I caught my breath and thought, “Wyatt will never get to taste that quesadilla cheesecake over there.” I controlled my anger but I plotted my attack.
On the car ride home after having relished in my Dirty Santa reward of a phone jack, a 90’s model United Way cap, two Harlequin romance novels and some VCR tapes we started gathering all the information from Wyatt’s impromptu education session.
From Wyatt’s story this all took place around a 100 piece Ninja Turtle puzzle which was apparently an important fact in his defense, but I’m still not sure why. Anyway, he claimed that someone broke out the middle finger and, he being the one always looking out for everyone’s best interest, took it upon himself to let everyone working on the 100 piece Ninja Turtle puzzle know that that was not a nice finger to use, which apparently some did not know until he told them. BUT it was someone else that told them all just what it meant. That was his story and trust me, with some slight variations, he stuck to his guns.
We went home later and called his teacher, who’s a friend of ours, to get some facts from an adult. We do know that they were in fact working on a 100 piece Ninja Turtle puzzle – THAT IS NOT IN QUESTION. Who said what, did the informing, educating and degenerating is a little sketchy. But we additionally found out in conversation with Teacher that our baby boy had hurt a little girl’s feelings earlier in the week by calling her a name…UGH, THIS IS NICE TO KNOW!!!!
Christy and I prepared our case and went off to his bedroom to give our closing arguments. Christy gave one of the best gentle speechs, as only a mama can, about using language or gesture that aren’t appropriate and that we really don’t know they mean, how hurtful words can be to other people, how boys are to respect girls and treat them all like princesses, and a final little shot about focusing on school work.
But as I watched our little boy, the one that is going to keep us up at night for the next 20 years, listen to his mom I saw a different side of him…I saw it in his eyes. The longer she talked to him about his actions and their impact the heavier his bottom lids got. Our bullrider/Navy Seal/linebacker/power forward finally couldn’t hold them any longer and the tears rolled out over his cheeks. And for the first time in his young life he wasn’t crying because of his punishment, but crying because he was remorseful. He really saw where he misstepped and felt bad for hurting the people around him. And I’m glad when he felt this overwhelming remorse that the people that love him most on this earth were there to comfort him.
Made me think back to times in my life when God made it clear my actions were having a negative impact on a person or people and I remember my eyes filling with tears until the lids couldn’t hold them back any longer.
Wyatt is very good at throwing out “I’m sorry” in a heartbeat to avoid certain punishment. But remorse, is a totally different feeling than, “I’ve been caught and now the punishment hurts!”
Remorse is not a reaction to punishment; remorse is a reaction to understanding. It’s an important step in our repentance to and reconciliation from God.
And when it’s over, IT’S OVER!! Like Christy and I getting the point across to Wyatt then when the point was made, and he truly saw what he had done, there was remorse and we were there to hold him and let him know it was over. It’s done and we’ve learned, now go on with life because it’s these things that make us who we are.
That’s the God we serve!! We see what we’ve done, we’re remorseful, we’re repentant, we are hurt that we hurt Him and others and then our Father lifts us up on his heavenly knee as only he can and says…“It’s done and I’ve already forgotten about it.”
That’s the God that loved us so much that he sent His son, down from heaven, in the form of a human baby, to this earth, to walk with us, and live with us, and die for us so we would no longer have to carry the guilt of sin we’ve repented and remorsed over and my goodness if we remember anything during this time of year lets remember that!! What a gift!!
Micah 7:18-20 (The Message)
Where is the god who can compare with you—wiping the slate clean of guilt, turning a blind eye, a deaf ear, to the past sins of your purged and precious people? You don't nurse your anger and don't stay angry long, for mercy is your specialty. That's what you love most. And compassion is on its way to us. You'll stamp out our wrongdoing.You'll sink our sins to the bottom of the ocean...
Have a Merry Christmas (a.k.a Jesus Birthday) family, friends and readers. Don’t worry about Wyatt, he’s okay, and yes, I did eat the last piece of leftover quesadilla cheesecake…with no remorse!!