Sometimes it is the hard lessons, the ones that just happen in our lives that really make us fully understand the meaning of having Jesus in our hearts. Especially when one is talking the lessons of a child.
The other day Selena and our neighbor were putting some things away in his trailer. Selena closed the doors of the trailer, and yes she knew his cat was inside. There was no harm done to the cat, as he reopened the trailer and let the cat out. He brought Selena home and informed us what she had done. Selena was pretty upset at first, so there was no talking through this with her at the time. Later that evening, this neighbor snapped at me in a very angry voiced and announced that he was very upset (he used other unkind words, but this being a family blog I am not repeating what he said word for word).
The next couple of days Selena and I discussed this and just as I figured she truly did not understand what the ramifications could have been from her actions. I truly did not want her running over and apologizing until she did have a full understanding of what could have happened if the cat had been left in the trailer.
Yesterday, I felt she had enough of an understanding and we prayed through the situation then set out for her to make her apology. When we approached the neighbor, his coldness was so thick, that it sent a chill through my bones. Selena could not look at him let alone apologize, she sunk her head into my shoulder and told me how scared she was.
Now, we had another discussion already forming as we made our way back home. We talked about how sometimes people come into our lives who do not know Jesus. We talked about how cold these people can become depending upon life experiences. Selena really wanted to apologize, but I knew she would be met with the same coldness, so we talked about how important it was at this point to ask God for forgiveness and to forgive ourselves. We prayed and then Selena broke into dance and joy announcing “Grandma, I am so happy we have Jesus in our hearts, so we can be kind, warm and loving people.”
I wanted to take this lesson one step further though, and we talked about our actions. Selena has such a habit of jumping and doing before she thinks. We have reminded her time and time again to slow down and think before she acts. With this in mind we talked about how she simply did not think about the cat’s safety before she reacted and how sometimes these type of actions can really hurt others and cause us a lot of grief. I pray that the lesson has been learned but for now I can say that I have one little girl who is trying so hard to slow down, think before she acts, and seems like she has just taken one more step in her growth in the past 48 hours.
It sometimes hurts to see our children have to learn these lessons in such a manner, but knowing that God is in control, and guarding them somehow makes these lessons easier to walk through with them. We will not be allowing Selena to spend time with the neighbor like we did before, and that will still have some issues of its own, but Selena does understand that sometimes God does bring people into our lives, and we try to witness to them, but sometimes that is all God wants us to do, then move on. We are on the mend, both of us, and are moving forward from this. Selena has forgiven herself, she knows that God has forgiven her, and I have forgiven him for being so harsh. Now we can move forward with peace of mind and heart that we have done all that is expected of us at this time.