The mullet was starting to grow on the back of my almost 2-year-old's head and my own hair was too heavy to hold a curl. My friend and hairdresser had an opening in an hour, so armed with granola bars and raisins, I packed Jack up and decided to brave it. He had been doing well sitting still for meetings and having patience during appointments; I figured he could eat a snack for the 15 minutes it would take for my hair to simply be trimmed.
We all see where the story is going, don't we? After he had his hair trimmed, the raisins were not enough for Jack to sit still without squirming. All of the times I have trusted him before, didn't matter. He was going to show his age, and act like the toddler he is: busy.
My friend didn't seem to mind and she just kept right on going. As I sat there, I could hear the whispers of the only other customer in the salon. She was echoing the guilt I already felt; I should have waited to come until I could find a babysitter for my son.
For the final few minutes I was in the chair, I could hear the other customer talking about her kids. It sounded like they were probably college-aged. As I left the salon, it made me wonder, “do you remember what it was like?”
And I asked this question of her in my head, I sense the Lord whispering to me, “Will you remember? Will you be who you wanted others to be during this time?”
Most importantly, “Right now, are you remembering?”
5 The disciples crossed over to the other side of the lake. They had forgotten to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7 The disciples talked about this among themselves. They said, “He must be saying this because we didn’t bring any bread.”
8 Jesus knew what they were saying. So he said, “Your faith is so small! Why are you talking to each other about having no bread? 9 Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the 5,000? Don’t you remember how many baskets of pieces you gathered? 10 Don’t you remember the seven loaves for the 4,000? Don’t you remember how many baskets of pieces you gathered? 11 How can you possibly not understand? I wasn’t talking to you about bread. But watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Jesus reminded the disciples he wasn't talking about the physical bread, but to be mindful of the heart of the Pharisees. They needed to remember all they had personally witnessed of Jesus.
In the same way, God’s tender whisper to me this morning had little to do with the moment with my toddler, and everything to do with reminding me how He alone has provided for me.
Are we remembering who we used to be without Jesus? Are we remembering our moments when we believed a lie and fell on our knees for forgiveness?
As we look around us, are we judging those struggling in the big or small things, or are we bringing encouraging words and the hope of victory in Jesus, the hope we too need?
Remembering is choosing to embrace the empathy to be an encourager.
I want to remember what it was like to have a toddler when I am far past this stage and I want to always be looking for those ahead of me to remind me that this season, too, shall pass.
Let's embrace empathy and encourage those who are climbing a mountain we have crossed over. As someone reaches out a hand to help pull us up our next hill, thank the Lord for the hope we see for ourselves in someone else.
Angie Roehm seeks to encourage others to let the power of God's spirit flow through their everyday lives. Armed with a math degree and a type-A personality, she is learning to look only to God as He directs her to step out in faith with her writing and speaking. Angie and her husband Jason live in the Cincinnati area with their 3 kids, where they enjoy watching their girls dance, tossing the ball with their toddler, and cheering on the Indianapolis Colts.
Connect with Angie at www.angieroehm.com