It had begun like any other Saturday. A long weekend at home gave us the opportunity to do some landscaping around the place. It was long overdue, as the clay wall that had greeted me daily for the past year was fast losing it’s appeal.
Hubby and I encouraged the kids to come and join in the fun outside. One by one they appeared and got stuck into it. Digging holes, moving soil, planting and then watering the fresh coloured life that would sway gently with the breeze and bring relaxation to our backyard.
One child (I won’t say who) was over it, before he’d begun. Everything seemed too hard, and after being asked to do a simple task 3 times – in anger he dumped a potfull of soil on top of one of the tender new plants. I reached down and began removing the soil from the new plant, asking him to help me fix it up. After a few words, some tears and kicking a few things along the way – he raced off to cool down.
After about 15 minutes of calm down time from him….a zinger came from my child right at me,
“YOU LOVE THE PLANT MORE THAN ME!
YOU CARE MORE ABOUT IT THAN YOU DO ABOUT ME!”
I recognised it for what it was, a manipulation, a cry for affection, some comfort, the way he actually felt at that moment…..I wanted to begin yelling myself, but something inside of me “teach him something” out of this.
I responded…”it’s because I love you, that I wanted you to fix what you had done to the plant. I love you too much to allow you to become someone that doesn’t respect the people and things around you. I love you more than any plant sonno, that’s the truth.”
The tears continued to flow from his little eyes. After a time, we managed to talk and cuddle it out.
It grieved me so much, that any person in my life would make such a comment.
Did I actually convey the message that I loved a thing more than a person?
I sat down the next morning and asked God what I was supposed to understand from this weird situation. It was as still as fresh as a daisy in my heart and mind.
I am learning to ask more about this type of thing – because there is often something He is wanting to say to me in it and through it.
This is what came:
I became aware that sometimes I feel as if the ones I love, care more about other things, schedules, busyness – than they do about me.
I sometimes choose to focus upon the task so much, that the person gets lost in the system.
I am sometimes sooo busy, that I fail to recognise the obvious need in front of me.
I have been selfish, I have built walls, I have….I have….I have….I have….
He loves me before, during and after my faults.
He chose me before I chose Him.
He lavished His abundant love upon me, freely and without cost.
He always has the time for me.
He always knows my heart motives and never misunderstands me.
He always brings life giving lessons from the good and the tough times.
He created me for friendship with Him, and is willing to let me fly off the handle, get angry, think accusing thoughts and speak horrible lines – and He doesn’t…not once…lose His love for me. He comes alongside me in these moments and arms wide open, He embraces me…one of those hugs where you get lost in the security of the arms strength and reasurance that comes with them.
I am coming to know within my heart that God loves me without reservation.
The more I let this truth soak into my soul, the more it impacts how I love those around me.
No…..I don’t love a plant more than I love my son…..but He felt I did….because I was so focused upon the job at hand. Yes, I have a Father who is willing to love me despite my own “moments”of doubt and upset.
Father, help me to love others as you love me.
Please flush my system of everything that holds me back from living this way.
Forgive me for the times where I have failed to love others in the way you would want.
I long to care more about what you think that what I or others think about how to live well.
I know that you have so much more to teach me, about loving my family, friends and my enemies. It scares me, but it also excites me.
I trust you with all of it Father.
Lord, I want my children and husband to know that no task, no item, no job, no amount of busyness or scheduled activity can replace them.
Help me to prioritise the people that you place around me. Help them to leave you and I better than when they came. Help me to live as salt and light for you…I want to do you proud my precious and loving Father, because I love you right back. xxxxx