My sweet, sweet boy, Elijah, my fellow lover of all things basketball, turned down an opportunity for a basketball clinic held locally over Christmas break. He gave us an excuse of his bruised, hurting knee (when the camp was 3 weeks away), and it seemed odd, but I didn't press him, not wanting him to feel like he had to do it for me.
After a few days, I gently questioned why, letting him know that it was ok if he just didn't want to. He said he didn't want to deal with a bunch of kids he didn't know, but he still didn't elaborate, and the look in his eyes told me there was more to this story. So I asked again, why? He went on to say he didn't want to deal with kids who might be mean.
I was confused. I explained to him that he doesn't know what kids might be there, and they might not be mean. He insisted that he didn't want to take that chance. It occurred to me, something must have happened to make him feel this way. So I questioned him further.
Reluctantly, he explained that while at a local basketball camp this summer, they had a guest speaker, a man who used to play basketball, a man who had been in a tragic car accident, (a man I knew briefly, who was a really amazing collegiate player). Elijah told me that the speaker sometimes messed up words because his speech was effected by this accident. Elijah went on to say that a couple boys, who were sitting in front of him, laughed every time the speaker messed up his words.
To double check, I asked him, "Are you absolutely sure that's what they were laughing at? Could it be that they just weren't paying attention, and they were goofing around?"
Elijah, with sadness in his eyes, was adamant, "No, mom. They were right in front of me. They laughed specifically at the words he messed up, and made fun of him."
To hear Elijah tell me this, broke my heart on so many levels! To see how visibly upset he was by it still, months later, made me cry, but also made me proud of the young man before me; who loved so deeply, he couldn't bear the thought of someone being mistreated, even if they didn't know it was happening.
In that moment, words were sort of escaping me, but I managed to explain to him that he cannot avoid mean people his entire life, and he cannot let them prevent him from doing what he loves. I hugged him, and thanked him for his kind heart, and his deep love for people, and then I went and found a corner to cry in.
His love, in that moment, was so sincere, so heartfelt, and the cause of turmoil and pain. I pray that in the future this love for people moves him toward positive action.
But here's my point today. We often tell people that love shouldn't hurt, to encourage them to avoid hostile relationships, but what we should tell them is that to be loved, shouldn't hurt. However, loving others often hurts. Sometimes it hurts to love people so deeply, that you can almost feel their pain. It hurts to feel their sadness. If it doesn't hurt to love, then we're not actually loving at all. Because we should care. It should hurt us to see injustice. It should hurt us to see others in pain. It should spark a call to action in us, which only love can do.
Y'all, the most quoted Bible verse of all time, is John 3:16, which says, what?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Talk about a call to action! He loved us, so much, that He gave his one and only Son! And when Jesus was beaten, and tortured, and crucified for us, it must have, quite literally, hurt like Hell!
To love like Jesus, hurts.
But God called us to it, and He showed us the greatest call to action in the history of the world, done in the name of love.
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
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