Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Gun

Our son and his friends love to play in the forest behind our house and their house. They are play in dirt, build forts, shoot guns, dig for treasures kind of boys. A few days ago, the boys were with their grandmother and she helped them set up a target in the forest behind their house, then they, along with my son decided to get their bb guns for some target practice. The lady that lives beside them was unhappy with their escapades and told them to stop shooting their guns, and she promptly called the police on our eight and nine year old boys! She told the police that there was a crime occurring in the neighborhood.
The police arrived, they talked to the boys and told them that they had to stop shooting their bb guns at their target in the forest. My son came home and said that the neighbor called the police and called him a criminal. The police came and talked to him and his friends and now he can't shoot his gun anymore until the police talk to us, his parents. I asked him what he thought about all of that and he said, "I'm not a criminal!" And, "the neighbor is mean!"
Well, the truth is, the boys were not suppose to be shooting their guns in the forest, although grandma didn't know that. I didn't either, actually. It's a forest! But, it's against the law, so they can't do that. The truth is, this does not make them criminal, it means they made a mistake. And, it would have been mature and kind of the neighbor to handle it differently, rather than labeling three young boys with a word like "criminal." The truth is, she probably isn't mean. I don't even know her. And, I need to take my son over there and have a conversation with her so they can work things out. I want them to hear each other's hearts, I want to hear her heart.
I live in a world, a country, a state, a community,a church of diversity. Everyone sees differently, hears differently, speaks differently. What can I do to get along? How can I stand up for what is right, yet still be at peace with others? How can I live with integrity? How can I walk in a world that is constantly challenging me to be a woman of truth when everything around me is deceit? How can I raise my children to see people in a loving way, rather than through eyes of pain and fear?
I want to be able to celebrate the fact that I, along with others even want to attempt to reach the target! I don't want to yell at them and tear them down and call them names and attack them because possibly they are breaking the law. I want to be able to extend grace, lots of grace.
Jesus, show me how. You did it all the time, and You still do. Say That Again, Jesus, You are Grace, and You hit the target everyday!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. It is really inspirational to me, Bethany, to read how you keep reaching up beyond the natural human tendencies to feel pain and fear and emerging in the realm of seeing the world through Christ.Even when you are not feeling well, God can still use your willingness to let His Spirit shine. I forwarded this to family who are facing church challenges today. Thank you for sharing your walk. Kathy


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