Tonight as I was putting Yemi to bed, she of course called me back in her room for one last something.
She asked: “Mom, what if at school somebody doesn’t like me and thinks I’m stupid?”
I said: “Well, that doesn’t feel good, but you can just say to yourself, ‘There are lots of people who do like me and Jesus does not think I’m stupid, so I’m happy no matter what they think!'”
She said: “But I don’t want people to not like me.”
I said: “I know how that feels, Yemi, and it’s not fun. But it does happen like that sometimes, and we have to just love those people and love ourselves, too.”
She said: “So if someone’s being mean to me, I can just go somewhere else… but before I do, I’ll say to them, ‘I don’t like that, but I love you’ and I’ll kiss them on their head and go!”
Yes! Wow. I think she gets it. I pray she really does do this, and I pray we ALL do!
As children formed by God’s hand in our mother’s womb–in His image even–we never have reason to let someone’s cruel or insensitive words or feelings toward us get under our skin. If we are full to the brim of what He says about us, then we can honestly need no input from others…and when we get it, we don’t absorb it. We don’t have to receive it. I’m learning that when people are jerks, for lack of a better word, they have a problem, not me…so we can joyfully pray, offer grace, give the kind of love we’ve been given from God…and walk away unaffected. Easier said than done? Yes. And we’ll be tested often! But this is a goal to work towards I think.
Maybe we’ll think of Yemi’s kiss on the head to a class bully, then run off to carelessly play, the next time we have the chance to be offended.