Mornings start early for me. It’s just the way I’m wired, and I can get a lot accomplished in those dark hours of quiet. Coffee in hand, I scroll through Facebook as I wait for the caffeine to kick in.
Recently a friend posted a quote that caught my eye:
“Instead of saying, “God wouldn’t give you more than you could handle,” you could say, “Let me come over and do some laundry.”
My stomach clenched when I read the words—not because I don’t think they’re true, but because they’re so convicting. The same friend went through a hard time years ago. I should have been there. I wanted to be there. I was far away geographically and overwhelmed with small children. I didn’t know what to say or how to help. I was afraid I’d get it wrong, so I said nothing. It’s one of my deepest regrets. In a Facebook world, it’s easy to ignore suffering—even the suffering of our friends.
“We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.” - Francis of Assisi
How do we make it right when we have hurt others? How do we model for our kids how to move forward? How can we teach our kids to be intentional about fixing what is broken?
“Any dead fish flows with the current, it takes a live fish to swim against the stream.” - Alistair Begg
How can parents of little ones teach their children to be intentional about noticing that others are hurting?
- Take flowers to a neighbor who is recovering from an illness.
- Cook a meal to take to a new mother (or pick up a rotisserie chicken from Publix!).
- Pray out loud for those involved when you pull over for an ambulance to pass.
- Invite a college student over for lunch after church.
- Notice the hurting of your own children and treat them tenderly.
We must cultivate the kind of community where we’re allowed to get it wrong, to ask for forgiveness and to move forward loving each other better next time.
- Reach out to a difficult neighbor.
- Speak kindly about your children’s teachers and coaches.
- Assume the good intention of friends rather than assuming the worst.
- Ask your children for forgiveness when you have wronged them-- let them experience the Matthew 18 principle of asking and receiving forgiveness in your own home.
We live in a fallen world, and we’re called to love each other well in the midst of it. To be “live fish” that swim against the current.
It’s one of the things that makes Lakeland Christian School unique and precious—we want to get this right. We need our entire school community to pull together to love each other well. Loving and serving each other well is the essence of “shalom”: all things right. By God’s grace, we aspire to be a little better every day.
Who needs your care today?
Mrs. Jennifer Canady serves as the Director of the RISE Institute at LCS. You can email her at email@example.com.