If there would’ve been a hole big enough, I would’ve jumped in. Big enough for embarrassment. Deep enough for shame. Wide enough for anger. No need to make room for pride. The last slender shred had been crumpled.
We were in the parking lot at church, after a full Saturday of Upwards basketball. One of my little boys had a meltdown. A first-class sizzle. A puddle-stomping, howling, run-through-the parking lot fit.
I bolted after him, dodging cars and trucks, pounding through slushy ponds in my pointy-toed boots. I caught him. But in the process I locked another son in the van, strapped in his seat, with two sets of keys.
I pressed my hands against the cold window and peered into the backseat. “Are you okay? The sheriff is on the way. He’ll be here soon.” The little guy nodded.
My other child, now spent, stood at my side.
It had been a long, long day.
You could’ve heard a pin drop on the drive home from church that afternoon. But inside my head, thoughts ran a mile a minute. I needed some encouragement. An uplift. Something to bring light to the grey scene we’d left in the parking lot. A quote from Robert Frost pushed to the front of my mind. “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” Hmm. Good. I was ready to move on. From that behavior. From that scene. From that day. But I needed something more. Something to soothe the rough edges of my soul.
“Okay, God, please bring me Your word. I need You.”
In His goodness, His words rushed to my heart. Stronger than that wild, unexpected tantrum. Faster than I’d had to run to catch my little boy. Alive and sharper than any two-edged sword.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions will never fail. They are new every morning, great is His faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
His words were salve to my heart.
On days like that, when I don’t understand, when I’m tired, when parenting is puzzling and humbling and a million miles from anything proud, I’ll cling to His great love. When I’m bewildered and bruised, I’ll run for compassion that won’t fail. Compassion that is new every morning. Compassion that is grace-based ,free- flowing, poured out just for me.
Great is His faithfulness!