Monday, January 2, 2012

It's Human Nature, I Guess

Business first, on the side bar is a link to the funeral information for Bob if you're here looking for that.

Now, on to the story of the day.

Humans like a romanticized version of life.  It's why we like movies and TV and a good novel.  I think we do it at work and at home, with our friends and our experiences.  I do it myself.  It's easier to live that way.

Living a sort of romanticized version of things helps to ease the burden of knowing the realities of our failings.  We all make mistakes and hurt people, intentionally or not.  We all  find ways to deal with those mistakes, either directly with the people or situations where the mistakes or missteps or misunderstandings happened or we justify it all out in our minds.  Either way, we do something about it.

I feel like we do it a lot in our Christian circles.  We read a lot of "good Christian books" that give us little nuggets to think about but more than that, give us lots of little things we like to call encouragements.

I'm not always sure that they are.  Sometimes an "encouragement" is more like a free pass to amnesia land.

Yeah, I'm cynical.  You already knew that.  I like to think that I'm not cynical so much as I'm a thinker, but whatever.  You're more than entitled to judge away and have your opinions of me.

Disclaimer moment.  I'm not saying our lives should be all darkness and legalistic and so on.  I'm not saying we shouldn't give grace, both to others and ourselves.

I am saying, be cautious.

There are some of us that will always be far to generous with grace for others and will suffer for it by being taken advantage of and manipulated often.  There are some of us that will be too far over on the side of no grace for ourselves and we will be merciless in finding our faults and trying to punish ourselves over and over, refusing to see the grace God gives us.  That's where we fall into that place of saying, well, God, I know you say you forgive me, or have given me my consequence for my action, but I can't accept it.  You can't be right, never mind that you're God and all, I know what I deserve or how bad I am.

I know I'm not being very clear this morning and in a minute I'll clear that up or at least give you my justification of why my writing is a little sub par right now.

We have a new little person living with us, Mr. Monkey.  He's been here a few weeks now, and as we say in the system, the honeymoon is wearing off.  He's a great kid, but he bears his baggage of his life experience.  We all do.  And that's not a bad or wrong thing.  It simply is.  I have my own.  You have yours.  It's a piece of the puzzle of who each one of us is and without it, blah, life would be damn dull.

Now, that's not a blanket, go ahead and abuse the smack out of your kid.  Not.  At.  All.  Trust me.  As the foster mom that takes in those kids that already took that, no, don't go there if you can help it.  It's not a good choice.


What I am saying though, is, especially as Christians, we love to play this crazy little amnesiac game of romancing over how great it used to be and how miraculously God will smooth it all over.

Truth Time

Yes.  God does miracles.  That's a different blog.

Yeah, there were those precious baby/toddler/child moment of "perfect" love.  Our kids just loved us because they did.  They over looked our mistakes and missteps.

There does come a time though, when that stops and they start to feel and remember the slights, the hurts, the mistakes that were never acknowledged and the forgiveness-es we never asked for.  Don't ever read me as saying I'm some kind of great parent, I'm not.  I'm the regular kind.  It is a different time frame and scale for each and every kid.

Some kids get beaten physically as infants and that body memory lasts for a life time.  Some kids get the glances, the looks or the words.  Those make a mark too.  Sometimes it's an attitude, sometimes it's the lack that leaves the mark.

As a foster mom, some of my "hardest" kids are the ones that were neglected, not the ones beaten with coat hangers.  Some of the ones with the most challenges to overcome aren't the raped ones but the ones that listened to a constant stream of put downs and dismissals.  It all counts.

I'm betting almost every abusive parent has those perfect love moment memories of their child.  I bet every parent that's not perfect, every one of us that has made a mistake, even once,has some of those perfect love moments.  

We like to say how perfect a child's love is.  We paint over it in a pretty pile of words and pictures.  We love to talk all about God's perfect love and His ultimate forgiveness for our sin.

It is perfect love.  It is perfect forgiveness.  It is also beyond our comprehension.  We do ourselves a disservice by comparing it to something else human.  We allow ourselves amnesia to say, perfect love, total forgiveness and yet ignore that as God is giving that love and forgiveness freely to us, He is still holding all of us in His hand.

God gives us that love, grace and forgiveness freely at the very same time holding full awareness and knowledge of our sin, failing and holding us accountable.

We prefer not to see this.  We take the grace and love and leave off the part where God is giving it while simultaneously holding us accountable and being fully aware of ALL of who we really are and ALL we have really done or not done.

We all do it.  I do it.

Writing this in between doing mega-parenting with Mr. Monkey, I've lost a little bit of the train of thought here, but it's a start to a train of thought, or at least it is to me.

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