I am not a blogger. It’s been a long time since I publicaly processed something. But I am feeling the need…so here it is!
Today is the day after Easter, the day after being reminded of the transforming, resurrection power of the Lord Jesus Christ, the day after being convicted of loving as He first loved me.
Today, I am out running errands, quickly, as is my style. As I crossed the Eden Prairie, Cub parking lot, I heard screaming and quickly came upon a family in melt-down mode. The mother, screaming out of control at her 5 year old son and pulling on him . The son, who was hysterically crying was also screaming, “You don’t care about me”. The father and the other two littles kids stood near by sheepishly doing nothing. A Cub employee hovered as if to supervise in case law enforcement needed to be called as it was looking on the border of abuse. And the crowds stared and gawked and judged. I was part of the crowd. I went into Cub and got what I was going to get. The whole time, I was in Cub, I was kicking myself…”why did I walk by?, why didn’t I stop and offer a helping hand, or try to de-escalate the situation?” I remember those times, years ago, of feeling the public shame come over me and my raging child. If someone would only have stopped to share a word of grace instead of the look of shame. As I checked out, I overheard that Cub employee recounting the whole incident to another employee. Tsk, Tsk, Tsk…a terrible out of control mom and a hurting child and we all judge and we talk about it.
As I walked out to my car, I glanced across the parking lot to where the incident had happened and I noticed the vehicle they had been near, it was still there. I noticed people in the van, and the front passenger door swung open and the Holy Spirit pulled me toward it. No thinking, no questioning..only my feet walking in obedience to the presence of Jesus and then I was there. I found myself standing in front of that mom and that little boy as they sat side by side in the front passenger seat, with their legs hanging outside and their heads hanging down. The dad was in the driver’s seat, the other kids buckled in the back. It appeared they were attempting to pull it together.
As I approached, I asked permission, “could you guys use a little love and support?”. Fully expecting an answer of “no..mind your own business”, I heard, “yes, that would be nice”. I just stopped and asked if they were ok and offered my empathy, my understanding, my encouragement. Nothing profound or deeply spiritual. I didn’t want to be that stranger that walks by and judges and shames. The resurrection reminds us that we have been freed from shame and sin and judgement and that His Love rules.
Today, a trip to Cub reminds me that Easter matters…even on the Monday after, in the Cub parking lot.