My son’s gymnastics facility is the loudest place on the planet. Really. Not kidding.
A kid’s wilderness dream haven of play structure, sponge pits, trampolines, and decibel level that is unmatched in anything I’ve seen in my life, apart from a U2 stadium concert.
And it’s my pleasure and privilege to take my two youngest children to this wonderland every Monday evening for the next foreseeable future.
What is my cure for this, you may ask? Why, headphones, audio books narrated by soothing British accents, and the handcraft of my choice.
But not this week. This week is spent headphones off, listening to the echoing madness that plays out under the rules posting. Foremost of which is “use your inside voice”.
Not my idea of bliss.
And it was in this state of compromised compassion that it began.
The observations over the rim of my large London Fog. The sideways glance at the freaking out toddler held in a father’s fussing toddler who hits to get her way. The imperfections of humanity laid out in child-sized packages.
Please don’t get me wrong. I love children. It’s just that when I get feeling judgemental that I realize a.) how glad I am for my own imperfect-but-not-as-bad-as -them children and b.) how virtuous I feel as a parent.
Because for certain I would NEVER allow my children to behave that way. I wouldn’t hold them when they were screaming in temper, I would march them out to the car when they so much as fussed.
In the observations of my judgement, I realized some things.
My stuff is not other people’s stuff, but I and my kids sure do have our stuff.
But most importantly, how often am I behaving spiritually like those kids?
How often does my Heavenly Father carry me kicking and screaming from a place I want to stay to a place I should be?
How often do I come before him kicking, screaming, hitting, all in my desire to have my own short sighted way in this world?
All too often.
And He parents me through. Always loving, a mixture of mercy and truth, goodness and leadership.
He’s such a better parent than me.
And you know how He reminds me that His goal for me is to be like Him?
He sends my daughter to me, through the noise and the chaos, dragging her new little friend (doesn’t know his name) so that I can make his owie feel better.
A child bringing another child to a loving parent. A parent they trust to bring healing and comfort.
I hope my daughter learned that from watching me.
And I hope I learned that from watching Him.