He couldn’t even look me in the eyes.
The weight of yesterday’s foolishness on his conscience made it impossible for him to lock his gaze with mine. Though I had tucked him in bed with assurances of my love for him, he still awoke this morning unreconciled.
He’s since apologized and our relationship is restored, yet he still bears a countenance of guilt. I console him again with scripture:
While delivering that truth to his tender heart, I pondered why I don’t often wake with the awareness of guilt that he so frequently does. I’d love to think that’s because I have fully internalized the grace contained in the Lamentations passage.
“Because I’ve made too many mistakes.”
This was the raw response that fell from my child’s lips earlier this week. Sin had reared its ugly head in our relationship and the requisite consequences followed suit. Tears fell. The whole relational exchange was very normal (perhaps less than desirable, but normal)… up until that point. Listening as my child walked away, I overheard a disconcerting, caustic cluster of negative self-talk.
My skin isn’t thick enough.
Because I’m in my early 40’s you might expect me to have the emotional capacity to shrug off feelings of rejection. But I don’t. At least not all the time. A series of events colluded against my heart over the last few weeks:
- I’ve recently tumbled down the list of people whose opinion matters to my teenage daughter. Developmentally normal, I know, but I still feel the loss of her esteem.
- A heart-felt, oft-expressed invitation to come visit us was again turned down; our family’s hopes of sharing special time with people we love were dashed.
- Several of my children have experienced isolation from their peers, in some cases for their faith. My mother-heart feels their pain as my own.
- Our Easter Sunday was spent without the fellowship of friends or family.
He had lied. I gently confronted him in a moment of vulnerability and he confessed.
The topic of my son’s lie is essentially irrelevant — most children lie at some point, which means that many of you can relate to a parent’s perspective without my detailing it here.
Earlier in the day, my husband quizzed him about something we suspected he’d done and was met with vehement denial. When I later inquired again, his eyes fell and a quiet confession escaped his lips. We squared the issue and I encouraged him to apologize to his father for the layer of deceit.