“Boy I wish I had a stapler so I could just staple her mouth shut!”
Harsh, maybe. I just couldn’t believe this “well-meaning” woman chose to voice her concerns over the apparent weight my 10 year old son seemed to be putting on. Her observations about how she knew he struggled with anxiety and wondered if he had been eating out of a way to deal with it just about sent me over the edge!!
“Did she really think sharing her concerns was helpful? Hadn’t she ever been told as a child to zip the lip?”
I can only describe my initial thoughts as unkind, impulsive, and raw. Hunger might have been a part of it too as we were all waiting for my pastor/husband to wrap things up
With the well-intentioned woman sitting next to me, I slowly turned my head (trying to pick the right response to such tactless and hurtful words) and oozing with false warmth I said, “Well, we did notice the same thing, but we’re on it…no worries!” How much I wanted to sock it to her!! Being kind, sweet, and gracious (which she was not!) was the last thing on my mind.
Sometimes, people in our church feel like they know us so well…and they do get to experience some of our lives if our pastor/husbands try to be real and transparent from the pulpit. I’m sure, in hindsight, this lady did not realize the hurt she caused. How caught off guard she would have been if I had said, “Excuse me while I go find a stapler, I’ll be right back!”
Living in a glass house can be hard, and we sometimes don’t get the luxury of experiencing life’s growing pains alone…we seem to have a built in audience. I had the choice though, with whether I walked away bothered or beautified. Initially, I chose bothered. My insides were already upset by the same concern. But her approach just bothered me! Maybe because in her thoughtless way, she did voice a concern to something I had already been wrestling with. Confidence, though, in Christ’s tender love for my son would have allowed me to walk away beautified. I forgot the fact that Jesus cared way more about my son than I ever could! Had I remembered His promise to care for all our needs as a family in ministry, I could have walked away beautified!
Well, next time (as I’m sure there will be one) I will hold off on finding that stapler and remember the truth that God knows and loves my son, my family in ministry, and well, that “well meaning” woman as well!
And that is a beautiful thing!