Thursday, October 2, 2014

Who's the Bully Now?

Photo Courtesy of Ambro/freedigitalphotos.net
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.  Luke 23:34 NLT

I was excited to attend my daughter's first official school "program" of the school year today.  My husband and I eagerly took our seats and waited for the program, Bullies Anonymous to begin.  Evie, of course, had been singing the songs for weeks and we were looking forward to seeing the glowing smile that she always wears when she's "on stage."  

Unfortunately, however, it seemed the two moms seated behind us were not feeling quite the excitement that we were.  They began by noting loudly that this was so early in the day that they had almost forgotten about it.  Okay...no problem...maybe their kids hadn't been talking about it for weeks like mine had.  No big deal!

Once the program began though, I couldn't block out the sound of the heavy breaths (I could almost picture them watching the clock), the snickering and "tsk-ing" sounds when someone forgot to hold their microphone close to them, nor the "Oh, Lo-ord" drawn out in disdain as the actors brought in a "computer" used to detect bullies (I even caught that one on video as I was recording Evie's line that she had in the program). 

In my mind, this program was delightful...and it contained a great message!  The bullies were attending a Bullies Anonymous meeting because they felt they couldn't stop being bullies; they recognized that it wasn't right, and it was no longer fun; they wanted to change, but didn't know how.

In my mind, I pictured myself blogging about the atrocious mothers behind me during this program and how they were probably teaching their children to be bullies with this type of behavior they were exhibiting during a short 30 minute musical program.  But then it dawned on me; they might not want to be bullies either, but they don't know how to change.  They may feel so little confidence in themselves that they are afraid to not go along with this juvenile behavior.  

In my mind I heard Losing by Tenth Avenue North running on repeat:

Why do we think that hate's gonna change their heart?
We're up in arms over wars that don't need to be fought
But pride won't let us lay our weapons on the ground
We build our bridges up but just to burn them down
We think pain is owed apologies and then it'll stop
But truth be told it doesn't matter if they're sorry or not
Freedom comes when we surrender to the sound
Of mercy and Your grace, Father, send Your angels down

Oh, Father won't you forgive them?
They don't know what they've been doin' (oh no)
Oh, Father, give me grace to forgive them
'Cause I feel like the one losin'
Yeah, I feel like I've been losing.

After the program I went to pick up some groceries...still relishing the thought of trying to "throw down the gauntlet" on parents who are bullies.  I pulled out some comfy workout clothes and put on a t-shirt I had bought at Lifest Christian Music Festival two years ago.  On the front it says:  Pray for me... On the back it says:  Before you talk bad about me.

Boom...

God had thrown down the gauntlet on me.  Judgmental meSelf-righteous me.  I would have been perpetuating the cycle of bullying by typing away on this keyboard and heckling them when really, I should have turned around after the show and said, "Which kids are yours?  We just moved here from Wisconsin, so we don't know many people....".

Oh, Father, won't you forgive ME?  I didn't realize what I was doing.  

Pray:  Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me a heart to listen to the Holy Spirit's rebuke.  I lift up the bullies of this world; old and young, Christians and non-Christians...Hurt people will hurt people...Send your Spirit into their lives, and into their hearts.  Help these hurting people realize that you ADORE them and have a special place already made for them, so they don't have to try to win a popularity contest.  Help all of us to stay in tune with the pain that people are feeling rather than taking out our own pain on them.  Amen.


No comments:

Post a Comment