As the beginning of another school year– at new schools, rapidly approaches, I imagine and
worry dream for my sons– the possibilities that lay ahead. Of course, I want them to thrive academically and even socially, but more than this, I want them to feel deeply connected to something bigger than themselves, their peers, and especially even their parents(and families of origin). My hope is that they are more spiritually striving than socially. (It will offer a more honest and comforting existence. Oh please.) We (parents and blood relations) are small and broken examples of how to be in the world, in ways that are too often, far from wholesome and nurturing. How I wished we had church in our lives. As I read the wisdom and hopes of Jen Hatmaker, Bob Goff, Glennon Doyle, Brene Brown, I am taking copious notes-no guarantee that they will manifest into immediate and sustainable action. But still.
Notes for myself and my children:
Hurt kids make easy targets. And cowards, both bully and look the other way. Please let us stand between the abusers and the abused. Let us refuse to silently watch one person break another down. Say “no”. Say “leave them alone”. Do not look away. The tiniest scrap of hope is enough to save a hurt and lonely person from drowning.
Let us be safe and kind and gentle to all others–to be tender and empathetic. I pray for your kindness more than your success. How we love all people is the highest measure of our character. Well behaved and kind are not the same. And often bravery and kindness do not take the form of well behaved. Be brave. Above all else be kind and loving—unconditionally. Let’s do this!
Develop eyes for pain. See hurt people. Offer them kindness with your eyes, words, or actions. Please, let’s learn and commit to this as a way of being. Kindness is the height of bravery. It is difficult and awkward and feels risky–asking someone struggling, and on the outside, “What’s up” or if they want to sit with you or what book they are reading. We can do this. We can do hard things. I love you so much, but not always so well. I am learning too!
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