I don’t usually lock the door before I begin a workout. It’s just that my fitness routine is so new I can hardly classify it as such. And one of our grands does tend to pop in just about then, looking for help with the bunnies. I enjoy pop-ins, generally speaking, but only yesterday my workout was interrupted by a contractor. So, yeah. This morning I locked the door.
Sure enough, midway through, I heard a fierce pounding on that door. Steaming along on the elliptical, I hollered, “GiGi’s exercising. I’ll see you later!” I assumed it was Henry, who is old enough to understand, or figure things out, or return at a more convenient time. I didn’t hear a peep in response.
I was startled to find Beasie — all forty inches and four and a half years of her, full-blown with indignation outside the door twenty minutes. Her face was red and scrunched and her stance clearly conveyed angst. She thrust at me a pair of gray latex gloves with unmasked anger. “These are NOT old man gloves!”
Ah, yes. In a flash of insight, I recalled our conversation. She’d asked for help donning these gloves. They were too big, too thin, and useless for her purposes. I’d declined to assist, stating those “old man gloves” were not for little girls. I’d urged her to retrieve her garden gloves, perfectly suitable. Clearly, I’d offended my grandgirl.
Beasie’s response to my inadvertent insult spoke deeply to me. Her little heart had been wounded. Oh, my mercy, there is nothing I’d hate more than to callously hurt one of my grands. I was grieved to think I’d done so and thankful she’d come over to sort it out.
Beasie was perfectly on point in communicating the offense. I hastened to ask forgiveness for hurting her feelings. She was quick to extend it, as she is so sweetly inclined. Her anger dissipated and she resumed her ever-loving state of little girlness. As we embraced, I commended her for coming to me so quickly. Taking responsibility to clear the air is a mature and proper response when offended. It is key to living in unity.
Beasie came in hot, intending to set me straight. I can easily envision her crossing the yard in a huff, riding her high horse at a full gallop. In retrospect, I’m rather amazed she was not put off by the locked door but waited patiently to deliver on her mission. She didn’t anticipate exchanging her burden for peace but that’s exactly what happened. Within moments, she was relieved and freed to be Beasie. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Carrying grudges and harboring unforgiveness create just the opposite effect. These are heavy loads, unhealthy for body, mind, and spirit. Burdens steal our peace. Thank God, it doesn’t have to be that way! My grandgirl’s courage demonstrates the wisdom of scripture, just as Jesus instructed in Matthew 18:15: Go to your brother … or your GiGi.
Just before He was to be crucified, Jesus told his followers: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)
This simple but profound command rings true. His sacrifice was nothing if not an outrageous expression of love. Loving others as we are loved is a tall order, indeed. All the same, I am compelled to try. How about you? In this we may serve as authentic ambassadors of the Good News.
I pray Beasie doesn’t forget the teachable moment we shared this morning. I know I won’t. She and I don’t have to agree on all the details, eh? I submit those “old man gloves” are still too big, too thin, and unsuitable. No matter. She and I agree we love God and each other enough to hit the reset. Today, and again tomorrow, if that’s what it takes.
P.S. The best part of the whole bit is the following anecdote, shared by Beasie’s mom: “She told me she was going over to tell you you were wrong, then when she came back she said you worked it out with Jesus.” Amen!