Today during recess one student stepped on another student’s thumb. The one with the smashed thumb ran over to me crying (he’s a bit dramatic) the thumb-smasher right behind him. “What happened?” I asked the crying one. “He stepped on my thumb!” he sobbed. I looked to the thumb-stepper-on-er and he said quickly, “I didn’t mean to! And I said I’m sorry!” Then he looked at the tearful face and said, “Sorry,” again and gave that little boy and his hurt thumb a big, sweet hug before running off to play. The boy sitting next to me was spending his first five minutes of recess in time out. He had some chocolates left from snack time and offered one of those chocolates to his crying friend.
Yesterday I listened to Beth Woolsey talk about our Divine Humanity, about our Image Bearer-ness, about how we all have Love and Light inside of us mixed in with our Humanity. Today, watching these three boys interact in this way I thought, Image Bearers and Love and Divine Humanity.
It’s not always easy to react in love. Oftentimes, we even have great excuses for crummy behavior. The one who accidentally stepped on another kid’s thumb could’ve easily gotten huffy. “Come on, man, I didn’t even do it on purpose. Plus I already said I’m sorry! Why do you have to go and tell the teacher? You’re such a baby.” But instead he asked for forgiveness and offered love.
The one sitting in time out had no real reason to reach out to the crying one. He could’ve been indignant. “What are you crying about? I’m the one sitting here in time out watching everyone else play. At least you were in the position to get your thumb stepped on! I’m bored out of my mind over here!” But instead he extended love and chocolate.
Lessons in love.