Tag Archives: witness

Shhhh…Library

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“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”(Colossians 4:5-6)

This morning I took Gabriel and Natalie to the local library. We have attended the “Story-time” a handful of times but he has never checked out books. While I was giving my information to obtain a library card, he was busy winning the hearts of the librarians and the older ladies that were meeting for a book club. When we received our new card we made our way to the children’s section. Our library has a wonderful children’s room filled with bright colors, puzzles, toy mazes and computers not to mention the rows and rows of books waiting for exploration.

Gabriel loves everyone he meets, his innocence is so precious. I love seeing him interact with other children and make it a point to have him play with others. We have been learning about sharing and what it means to take turns. He has become pretty awesome at sharing (it was challenging at first but with learning patience, teamwork and shedding tears he has it down).

There was a little girl about 4 years old that was in the room. He instantly makes his way over to her and says “hey friend”. She smiles and they sit down and play quietly having a fun time together-sharing just fine. Her mother and I were chatting away as our kiddos played nicely together.

As they were playing a couple more girls enter the room. The four of us were sitting at the kiddie table that had four chairs. The children’s mother walks in and instantly takes over the room – I know you other moms have been in these kind of situations before. Loudly ordering her daughters to do this and do that (in THAT voice) and then she disappears into the main section of the library (trusting that her girls do no wrong). Meanwhile, her daughter comes over and pushes Gabriel out of his chair onto the floor. He as well as myself and the other mother were taken by surprise because he was sitting there quietly playing. Crocodile tears roll down his face (and I could feel myself getting really flustered inside-of course that’s MY baby boy). Gabriel says “Mommy she not share” “She push me” “Hold me Mommy”. I politely and gently say this to the little girl, “Sweetheart, my son was sitting in this chair before you pushed him and was playing with this toy. He will be glad to share with you but he will need to sit in his chair.” She pushes the toy aggressively and runs to the next one (again taking a puzzle piece out of another child’s hand).

Meanwhile, Gabriel continues playing with the first kiddo he was playing with just fine. The girl’s mother walks back in and asks them to finish making their selections, to find them pulling and tugging a book back and forth. The book they were fussing over was a popular one and Gabriel had his eye on it the whole time. I’ve taught him that when you are done with something you put it back up and it becomes available to others. Gabriel had waited and waited for this book-I even said “wait your turn, when they put it up you may get it”. So the little girls put the book on the shelf and walked away (their library bag was already overflowing with other selections). The second that book hit the shelf he quickly walks up with a huge grin on his face and reaches for it with his adorable chunky little hands. The younger sister darts over and roughly jerks it out of his hands. Gabriel looks at her and tells her “I’m sorry, I’m sorry”. I about lost it (LOL). I quietly said to my son, “Gabriel you didn’t do anything wrong. You patiently waited for your turn to get the book. Lets just pick out another one and you can check it out the next time”. The mother turns and looks at my 2-year-old son as if he understood her and says, “My girls were playing with this book and are checking it out. It was there’s all along. They made a mistake by putting it on the shelf and walking away”. The mama bear inside of me wanted to say something back to this mother SO bad. I wanted to make MY point clear that Gabriel was in the right and her children were in the wrong. (Not saying that he is perfect because he is NOT and we encounter learning experiences DAILY). I wanted to let her know that her behavior as well as her children’s was out of line BUT, I felt a still quiet voice say, “Let it go”. The “ME in me” was tempted to sarcastically begin singing the song “Let if Go” from Frozen but I remained silent.

“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (Proverbs 17:28)

I allowed the Holy Spirit to put a “shhhh” over my lips. Ironically, we were in the library 🙂 I could tell it was bothersome to the mother that I didn’t flinch or retaliate. She proceeded to rub it in that her children had the book by saying “look how colorful this book is and it even has a turning wheel (Gabriel’s favorite part of the book) to change the color” etc…(BLAH BLAH BLAH) I again wanted to say, “your girls are at least 3 or 4 years older than my son AND you have the whole library in your checkout bag-could you not let him have the book that he so patiently waited for?!?! The one that YOUR girls put back on the shelf and turned away???” But I again, remained silent.

“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”(Colossians 4:5-6)

This is not a big issue compared to others and may sound silly to you. But to a mother of young children, it breaks your heart to see someone do them wrong. The mother of the child Gabriel had been playing with so well said this aloud “Well I guess he will have to learn that’s how things are in the world. You are such a sweet and gentle boy. I haven’t seen someone as kind and well-behaved as you n a while”. Inside I was like BOO-YAH but realised that God had honored my silence and allowed this mother to brag on Gabriel (to build him up) in the midst of what seemed like a war to a toddler. As we checked our books out, the librarian looked at us as if she had apologetic eyes and said “he is such a sweet boy, he really is”. She gave him a sticker and said “thank you for sharing”.

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:14)

My challenge from all of this is to evaluate your words. Evaluate your behavior in the midst of a trial. I am working on this daily as words can fly out of your mouth so easily. God has called HIS children to a higher standard. To let your words speak love and cause peace among others. Even if your point is correct it is not always necessary to blab it out. He has called us to be gracious as He is with us daily. Walk in wisdom and choose wisely the words you say because you never know what someone is going through. This mother could have definitely been going through a hard time and maybe had been holding in her emotions and snapped at my 2 year old. That doesn’t make it right but it doesn’t make it right for me to lower down to her actions and retaliate either. (Had it been a more aggressive situation, of course I would have intervened) I’m not saying let others walk on top of you-but don’t allow petty stuff to steal your joy, composure or witness.

xoxo,

Jess

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