Today I took Emerald to a mall. We rarely go to malls anymore because we never seem to have time. But, today, we went and we walked and window shopped and chatted. We stood next to a little fountain and watched as bronze turtles spit streams of water into the pool, and we discussed which direction to wander next.
Suddenly, someone began yelling. I turned to see a young mother stopped in the mall, leaning down so her face was about an inch from her son’s.
What the f**k is wrong with you? she screamed again and again.
He was silent, eyes downcast as she spewed the f-word into his round little face. He was probably six years old.
Emerald was oblivious, watching the turtle fountains.
I wonder what kind of impression of God that little boy is getting from his mother. God is a parent. Does that chubby cheeked little baby think of Him as a raging, abusive tyrant?
I wonder what kind of impression of God that my kids are getting from me. Do they think He is petty? Nagging? Do they have a notion somewhere inside of them that He is just a little bit of a phony?
Take this today as motivation to be more like Christ: we are our kids’ first impression of what God is like. What do our lives say about who the Father really is?
My heart is breaking while reading about your encounter with this mother who is lost – lost in self and lost in spirit. How do we get that lost to crush a child with those kinds of nasty words and all the rest of what’s going on in private? We either know nothing of God or of common sense or we’ve completely abandoned any knowledge of sense and of Him. And it happens every.single.day. Our own children know we love them and that we love God when we tell them that we’re sorry for … whatever it is that we said or did, when we ask for their forgiveness which they seem to graciously instantly give. That’s very different from the scene you observed. I’m praying now for every parent who is committing this abusive behavior and for every child who is enduring it. May they find the only One Who can save them and turn their hearts to real love.
I love these words! To know that we are our kiddos first impression of God. First impressions are a BIG deal! As a mom, I definitely have to lead by example. It would be so hard for them to trust in Christ if they can’t trust me.
A HEART SET ON PILGRIMAGE
My heart broke for that little boy (and all the children who are subjected to this type of parental scenarios on a daily basis). :'(
Yet at the same time I am so aware of the many times I fail as a mother to showcase God’s character to my children. Asking for forgiveness and choosing to forgive is a way of life we are well acquainted with…often. Yet somehow I get the feeling reading this that there won’t be a mommy sincerely asking a little boy and God for forgiveness. God help us, and this little boy.