There are those moments that teach lessons forever. Moments so indelibly etched in my memory that they have become part of my core understanding. For me, one of those moments came years ago in a store in late afternoon. You know those moments. Most Moms have experienced them. But for most Moms, they end when your children are 3 or 4. For parents of children with hidden disabilities, those moments can extend much later in life.
Get the picture: I am with my boys, then 5 and 8. I have unloaded my basket on the conveyer belt and am waiting for my items to be rung up. The boys are together and then it happened — a tussle began. Only, this was no ordinary tussle — I could tell it was going to be a doozy. My older son was becoming more and more agitated and his voice was rising to a deafening crescendo. I was trying all of the normal things to diffuse the circumstances to no avail — separate children, speak calmly, remind of “inside voice” and consequences to follow, don’t lose my cool, etc. You have been there.
But this day there was no comfort and the meltdown became full blown. Heads were turning, eyes were piercing me from every direction. I could feel the judgment. I could hear the wondering why I did not get control of my child.
I breathed a quiet prayer, “Oh God, I am so embarrassed” sure that He would understand and have some kind word of comfort.
The words I heard next have rung in my ears repeatedly for years now. Not words of comfort but of rebuke, “I hung naked on a cross for you. Look at your son!”
I was stunned but in a flash it all made sense. Why was I worried about what these people thought of me? I would likely never see them again. They did not know our story. And probably, they would not care.
Of course, all of this happened in a moment, in an instant of time.
I turned my attention to my son who was still screaming full volume. I took his face in my hands to get his attention. “Sweetie, we will leave in just a minute. Could you please go stand in front of the cart and I will finish here?” To my amazed gratitude, he obeyed.
I paid for my items, gathered my things, and got us out of that store.
I will never forget that moment. It was a real life changer for me. One of those that has come up over and over in my mind as the years have passed (now a full decade). I am the mother of THIS BOY and his brother. They should be my focus of concern. If others do not understand, why should that concern me? If God is pleased with my mothering, who else matters?
Resting in the Audience of One,