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watch two young children at play. content with themselves, content with each other, content with their toys and the few simple requests of yours while they sit at your feet. but left to one another for even ten minutes, and one will find two small monsters, focusing all of their once-innocent energies on making sure the other follows the rules as his or her tiny, young ears heard and their naive hearts interpreted. any outsider can watch from behind the invisible glass and see for himself that their adamant demands do not stem from a concern founded in what the best action is for the wisps of souls that they are, or in what the principle behind a command is and was. no - it becomes a miniature world in which perspective, reasoning, and purpose -and most certainly grace- is lost. there is an obsession with proving the other little one that he heard wrong and it was only 30 minutes, not 35. watching darkened eyes and hearing words that should never fall from lips as untouched as theirs greatly frustrates the observer. a disbelief towards the ever-growing childish fury raises silent questions in the heart. 'where did the child with simplicity in his calm eyes disappear to?' 'what wordless force turned her tiny palm into a pathetic fist?' and, 'how are their worlds so small and trite, yet have the capacity for a seemingly instant hatred on the shallowest grounds?' the observer who is wiser still will probe further:'how do you teach a child perspective? purpose? a concern for the rule he was given, but not for forcing it upon the other?'
how do you give a child eyes for himself but only his heart for others?
there is another question has not yet been asked that could change the grip on the observer's heart from one of frustration, anger, disbelief and near-disgust to one of quiet understanding and a compassion that washes over a fistful of sins.
'what if they never grow out of this? what if none of us have?'
yes, observer, who is so wise beyond so many years - years that taught you nothing but better ways to disguise your obsession for ruling your playmate with the rules that "are right." years that taught you to replace your adamant squeals and tiny punches with smooth, reasoned, biting and life-murdering remarks. yes, observer, who is so understanding and gifted enough to view the world through experienced eyes - eyes that still insist on seeing only your foggy list of standards you thought you heard the Man speak before he left the room. the ones that you've repeated to yourself over and over and written down constantly for fear that - god forbid - the others didn't hear the gentle commands. your age has taught you to fight in your own way, one much more accepted. - no, not fight, for your rulebook cries out against such behavior. but perhaps justified by your motive. what motive? yes, i ask, what motive? but i remind you, there is yet another observer - one observing you. one who already embraces a compassion that has covered your fistfuls of sins daily. one who spoke out of love, and you, in your short-sighted self-righteousness, changed it to condemnation.
you see now, that was never the objective.
he only wanted you to play gently with the young heart sitting next to you - who has already heard his own quiet whisperings of how to please his father.
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"...and i will write it on their hearts. i will be their father, and they will be my children. no longer will one teach another, or a man his brother, saying 'this is how to know the lord,' because they will each know me, from the very least to the greatest.' declares the lord. 'for i will forgive every action whether it be against me or not, regardless of it's motive, and i will forget every one of their sins.' - jeremiah 31.33
'oh chosen, chosen people, you who take the life that i offer to those i have sent you and throw rocks like children at my own, how often i have longed to gather all your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her motherly wings, but you have not been willing. look, and see how this has left your house as one that is desolate.' - matthew 23.36