Pulling too hard, the sheets snaps up from the corner of the bed and I huff frustration. Burning breath, puffs out as I thrash frustrated over this. I know this is unnecessary. It’s 4 a.m. I’m too tired and it’s still dark outside and this is the fourth time this week.
And there I go again, with my example. Revealing the worst of who I am. Trading grace for anger, offering up water for the bitter root. Like a fool, I do not learn. Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. Proverbs 29:11
And in that moment, I am convicted. Put this wrath away.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31
Where is my compassion? This grace that Christ offers me, useless if it remains clenched tight in my fist, Perhaps I fail to give it because I don’t fully receive it. I trip and fall. I come down hard where I ought to come down gently. I am graceless, flapping wild, forgetting in the moment to breath and to give breath. This is a pattern that must be interrupted. This is the hard growing up that grown-ups must do. Children present many opportunities for teaching. Not only their teaching but my own as well, and in this way, in this constant school of compassion, I fail repeatedly. I repeat the course again and again, praying that eventually, it won’t be so hard for me to get it right the first time.
We live here, in each others space and some days we breath too loud and all need a little more room. There are days when all attempts at accomplishing anything, even sleep, are interrupted and frustration pulses hot in our veins and we need to just span out. These are the hard days for grace, the hard days for setting examples and being most simply, kind. But Christ reminds us to encourage each other.
So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
So we do. We snuff out the anger, we hug and forgive for biting. We love on each other more fully, with more effort that perhaps should be necessary, we hold tongues and make love offerings, small sacrifices to patch wounds and encourage peace. We give thanks that we have each other at all, the loud breathers, the bed-wetters, the ones who make meals so messy, and the ones who leave socks on the floor, damp towels in a heap, the one who loses patience too quickly and is always forgetting to s l o w down…we are a family. And it is in his hands, by his good glory and grace that we are all held here together.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:9