"Addilece. What happened to your bike?"
The bike was less then a week old. Addilece had gotten it for her birthday. Now there was a whole in the seat.
"I don't know mommy." She says as she climbed back on the seat.
"WHO put the hole in her bike?" I begin to look around at my kiddos. Suddenly my eyes fall on Baby Girl. "Maybe I did it." She states ever so casually.
After a rather long talk to her and a dishing out of discipline I tell her she must apologize to her sister.
"I forgive you." Slips out of Sweet Pea. She runs off to play.
It comes so easily to my four year old. Forgiveness is just part of her everyday language. But for me, I was still angry, frustrated, sad. The bike hadn't been damaged by 3 year old carelessness. The bike had been damaged by a hurt and jealous heart. She was upset that her sister got a new bike and she didn't.
This time I did something right. I prayed for this little girl and I asked her to pray. As she choked back tears, I heard words beyond her years. "God my heart hurts so much. Make my hurt go away."
This time I did it right. This time I saw my daughter through God's eyes, not my own. This time I forgave. But what about tomorrow? And the next day? And the next? This won't be the last time that the hurt causes pain in others, especially my other children.
Most of the time, I'm not quick to forgive. Letting those words slip from my mouth and take root in my heart like Sweet Pea did is hard. I don't want to see my children hurt, any of them, especially by each other. It is not natural or easy to forgive. But God requires it of us. It helps to show His heart. So tomorrow I will get up and pray harder and work harder for God to take out myself and put in Him.