Boasting in God

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“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” –1 Corinthi­ans 1:31

As promised, here is my “boast­ing in God” story:

The day before yes­ter­day, one of my 6-year-old’s reg­u­lar babysit­ters (whom he adores), a 5th-grader who lives next door (daugh­ter to the friend I wrote about yes­ter­day), was charged with walk­ing him home from school. Gabe chose to be dis­obe­di­ent and to play on a huge snow pile halfway between school and home. When he refused to come with her, she tried her best to rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion, but he ended up hit­ting her. She finally opted to leave him there and came to me, nearly in tears, say­ing she didn’t know what else to do. I told her she’d done every­thing right. As I was pulling on winter-wear to go bring him home myself, along he came. So of course we had a dis­cus­sion about what he’d done wrong, how dis­re­spect­ful it had been toward her, how he had had us all wor­ried, how he could have got­ten hurt (the snow pile being right along a street — not a heav­ily traf­ficked one, but still…), etc.

In the end, and at my moth­erly prompt­ing, Gabe decided to draw her an “apol­ogy card” and was excited to bring it to her the next morn­ing on his way to school.

So, yes­ter­day, out the door he went, trudg­ing through the snow, home­made card clutched in his lit­tle gloved hand. But within about five min­utes he was back, bang­ing his way into our house. Absolutely intent, he told his dad that he needed to make a new card because he’d lost the other one. He’d appar­ently made it all the way up onto their porch only to dis­cover (?) that the card was gone! In the funny way that lit­tle kids’ minds work, rather than knock­ing on their door and ask­ing one of the fam­ily mem­bers to help him look for the card (and he knows all of them well), he had traipsed all the way back home and was now rapidly strip­ping off gloves, scarf, coat, and — almost — boots and snow­pants, pre­pared to sit down at the kitchen table and craft a whole new card — all as the min­utes were rapidly fly­ing by for him to make it to school on time! So now Dad was vehe­mently telling Gabe “NO!”; I was fur­ther back in the liv­ing room, hastily call­ing my next-door neighbor-friend to tell her why Gabe was late to walk to school with her kids; and Gabe’s big brother (age 12) was try­ing to shove his way past through our small entry­way and out the door him­self. Are you sens­ing the chaos here???

Sud­denly, on the other end of the phone, my friend said to me, “L. [her son] just brought a paper in to me and said, ‘Mom, look at this. I found it in the snow.’ It’s Gabe’s card,” she con­firmed to me, and then to her son: “It’s from Gabe for H.; bring it back to Gabe so he can give it to her.” To which I responded by announc­ing to my hus­band and Gabe, “L. found it! You can go!!” So they got Gabe’s winter-wear all back into place and out the door he went, joy­ful and calm because the apol­ogy he had become so eager to deliver could indeed be made. I hung on the phone until I knew he was next door, the card had been given, and the kids were all on their way to school. Big sighs from both moms!

And do you see where God was at work in all this? I do:

First, in Gabe’s repen­tance (yes, it was mom-guided, but that’s my job as a Chris­t­ian par­ent — to guide him in the ways of faith­ful dis­ci­ple­ship and lov­ing treat­ment of other peo­ple — and it became his own, some­thing he was in fact eager to offer).

And in this: that as quickly as the chaos had erupted yes­ter­day morn­ing, it dis­si­pated and all was well. It is the nature of God to bring order out of chaos, peace out of anx­i­ety, and calm out of a storm. He did all of that — work­ing through a com­bi­na­tion of all of us, neigh­bors and friends — yes­ter­day morn­ing. And per­haps through an added touch of grace, because it truly wouldn’t have taken much for the white apology-card to have blown away, lost for­ever in the white snow that is every­where these days where we live. But, alas!, the lost was found — and that, too, is the nature of God!

You could say it was all “just another crazy ordi­nary morn­ing” in two next-door house­holds of kids. I choose instead to learn from my friend and see the extra­or­di­nary in the midst of it all — and to boast in God.

3 Responses

  1. Sabrina Martinez Says:

    This is what is lack­ing in today’s soci­ety. Par­ents teach­ing their chil­dren and chil­dren learn­ing beau­ti­ful life lessons all in the Lord. A two-fold les­son: tak­ing respon­si­b­lity for our actions and say­ing we are sorry. Great teaching!!!

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  2. Heidi Mann Says:

    Thank you, Sab­rina, for your affir­ma­tion — and thanks for stop­ping by my blog!

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  3. Douglas Zinter Says:

    What a heart­warm­ing story!!

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