My son loves to ride his bike to school. Our house is conveniently located on the backside of the elementary school’s playground. So every afternoon at 3:10pm on the dot, I hear his bike coming up our driveway. Next is the sound of the kickstand as he parks his bike in the garage followed by the opening of our outdoor refrigerator to grab something cold to drink. My favorite part, however, is the sound of the back door swinging open as his energetic voice calls out, “Mom, I’m home!”
But this day was different.
I was waiting for Jack outside, and as he was getting off his bike, I could see that he was upset. Jack’s face was flushed, and his eyes were red from recent tears. This little boy of ours is a child who tends to wear his heart on his sleeve, so luckily for me, it did not take long for him to open up about what had happened.
As the story unfolded between big gulps of chocolate milk and some sniffles, it seemed as if one of his classmates did not want Jack playing with a certain student (who just happened to be the prettiest girl in the class) during recess time. When my son asked why he could not play with this little girl, the other boy used physical force and pinned Jack to the playground equipment. Jack managed to get away but was pinned a total of three times. As he pulled up his shirt, I could see visible marks and bruising on his body from the rough encounters.
After hearing about the incident, I immediately wanted to call my husband, text a girlfriend, and call the school to give them a piece of my ever-lovin’ Momma Bear mind. Thankfully, however, I thought of El Roi, the God who sees, and I chose to call out to Him first.
As I began to pray, thanking God that He is with my son at all times, knows what persecution feels like, and is aware of exactly what happened out on the playground, I was reminded that we are to show God’s love to others and pray for our enemies.
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” Luke 6: 27-28
I PRAYED that this little boy that hurt Jack would come to know Jesus so his heart would be filled with God’s love.
I PRAYED for the teachers at the school and specifically asked that as they watch over our children during recess, the Holy Spirit would guide them so they would not become distracted, and their eyes and ears would stay alert.
I THANKED God because His Word, the Bible, tells us that, in Christ, there is victory in His name and that the truth will always come to light.
“For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” Luke 8:17
I was then ever so sweetly reminded of the story from the book of John when Jesus’ disciples were in a boat and became frightened by a storm.
That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination! (John 6: 16-21)
Jesus saw them, heard their cries, went directly to His disciples by walking on the water and IMMEDIATELY the storm was calmed, and their boat was taken out of rough waters and placed on secure land.
After praying, I will admit that I was a bit nervous on how to approach my husband, John, about what had happened. I secretly wondered if he would take the old school mentality of “boys will be boys” approach and just let this one slide by. I also wondered when would be a good time to talk about this incident so I kept praying for God’s direction.
After dinnertime, my son in his own initiative began to tell John about what had taken place earlier in the day. Jack’s story stayed consistent with what he had told me, and I sat there quietly to see how my husband would respond.
John listened intently, stayed calm, and assured Jack that we as his parents are always are on his side. My husband thanked him for sharing what had happened and told Jack he had indeed been treated unfairly. My husband also took the time to explain the difference between rough housing and being the victim of bullying.
As I sat there watching this conversation take place at our kitchen table, I could instantly see the relief on Jack’s face. His Father had heard him, saw that His child had been treated unfairly and that his daddy was going to help him. My husband let our son know this was a situation in which the school would need to be contacted so that something like this does not happen again.
I was so thankful and so was our son!
The next day my husband took the lead in contacting the school. They immediately responded to the situation. The whole truth of the matter was quickly revealed, and apologies were made.
That afternoon as I heard Jack coming home from school, I will never forget the first words he said as he walked through the door shouting excitedly, “Guess what, Mom? I made a new friend today!”
“Who?” I asked.
Then Jack replied with a big smile on his face, “The boy from the playground,” and truth be told, those two boys have been the best of friends ever since.
The FAITHFULNESS of El Roi.
The God who sees.
The God who hears.
The God who comes to the aid of His children and calms the storms.
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11: 9-10
From my nest to yours,