I was ten-years-old and so mad at my sister. It was summer time, and because of her tattling on me (and embellishing what I had done), I found myself in my room, grounded for the entire day. It had been a tough summer for me; I had been grounded a lot. I certainly didn’t need my sister’s help to get me into any more trouble.
What to do? What to do? The answer came – revenge, of course. So, I sat in my room contemplating how I could inflict the most pain upon her. After pondering one diabolic idea after another, I hit on the answer.
I wasn’t able to put my plan into action until the next morning when my sister went shopping with my mother. I took the time alone in the house to go into my sister’s closet where she kept all her barbie dolls. I proceeded to pull all their heads off, put them in a box and put the box in the bottom drawer of my desk. I did plan on eventually returning them to her and she could put the heads them back on their bodies, but I wanted her to feel some pain -- like the pain she had inflicted on me. With the task completed, I ran outside with a feeling of great satisfaction.
At lunchtime I was met by a mom, who for some reason didn’t seem very happy. “Hi Dan.”
"How was your morning?”
“What did you do?”
“Not much. Went over to Calvin’s and played baseball.”
“Nothing at all? Maybe something before you left the house?”
“Beth seems to have lost something?”
“And that’s my problem?” I now realized what was happening, and I tried to take the offensive.
“I think it might be. All her dolls are headless.”
The thought alone caused me to laugh out loud.
“And I found these in your desk drawer.” And with that, she opened the shoebox that contained a dozen Barbie heads (actually it was eleven Barbie heads and one Ken).
Later that night as my mom came to say goodnight, after another day of indoor living, my mom kissed me goodnight and said, “I love you.” And I knew she did.
It wasn’t until I grew up that I came to realize how many times I tried the limits of my saintly mother’s patience. Yet, I also realized that even at my worst moments, it never tried the limits of her love. To put it simply: she just loved me, and this was a person who knew me better than anyone else, warts and all – and even endured my head-hunting days!
We all need to know about this consistent, never-ending love and not just as kids, but adults as well.
I was sitting in my office one morning with a man – a big man, a tough man -- who was now leaning over in his chair, holding his head in his hands and sobbing uncontrollably. Only after many tears were shed, was he able to get to the heart of his pain, “After what I’ve done, Jesus can’t love me anymore.”
He had already told me what had happened and I could understand his pain. There were some serious consequences he had to face because of his actions, and he would have to spend a long-time making things right.
But what he said wasn’t correct and I needed to let him know that. So, I pointed to a crucifix I had hanging on the wall in the office and I said, “After what Jesus has done, he can’t love you anymore.”
Same word, yet with two absolutely different meanings.
You know what? In time he was able to take that to heart, and he was also able to mend the relationships he had damaged, with grace and humility. He was able to do it because he came to know he was loved. And that love comes from someone who knew him more than anyone else – warts and all.
Don’t doubt God’s love for you anymore!
~ God’s Blessings, Dan