It happened. Everyone told me it might one day but no one can really prepare you for the day your child growls, “I hate you.”
He was in time out. Again.
Fighting angry. Hands fisted. Jaw clenched. And snarling those dreaded words.
I. Hate. You.
Imagine, just for a minute, the anger that must have been pumping through his heart to prompt the most hurtful words his young mind could imagine.
All directed toward me.
Now imagine his shock at finding me right behind him, absorbing the slam of each syllable. Words he likely thought in the past but never dared to voice until today. His eyes widen. He steps back. His transparent expression screams regret.
Then, shock turns to confusion. Utter and complete confusion as the target of his anger drops to his level, gathers his rigid, shocked form into her arms, presses lips against his ear, and whispers, “I will always love you. Even if you hate me. Even if you continue to disobey. Nothing can ever take my love for you away.”
I kiss his temple and walk away. I blink back tears against the deeper stinging truth.
I am just like my son.
My words drove nails into Jesus’ hands, words spoken aloud and uttered in the sinful folds of my heart. My attitude thrust spikes through his feet, attitudes of pride, self-sufficiency, and a stubborn refusal to yield. My anger put a crown of thorns on His head and there is no hiding any of it from God.
But He gathers me in His arms, presses His lips against my ear, and whispers, “I love you. My love does not depend on you, it depends on me. There is nothing you can do that will ever change my deep and great love for you.”
A heartbeat thunders in my chest. Sorrow washes over me. Regret. Shame.
A small hand tugs at my sleeve. A repentant voice seeks forgiveness. I pull my little man into my arms whispering assurances of love and I understand a little bit more of the joy our Father must feel over repentant, surrendered hearts.
*from the archives