The worst pain she could think of...

Our own experience often dictates our reaction and response to any given information, doesn't it?  The horrific report had splattered the newspaper and the local news channels.  Like any responsible mother of a six-year-old daughter, I had carefully avoided her exposure.  To my dismay her information was gathered on the school bus, but as is often the case, her source was vague in truth and in understanding.

Her look as she exited the bus alerted me to some problem.  I expected someone had made fun of her new tennis shoes or maybe she missed a problem on the Math sheet that day.  Imagine my "take your breath away" moment when my first grader said, "Mom, I just don't understand - what is rape?"  After I picked myself up off the floor - somewhere between the thoughts of, 'we are moving to a family monastery and I knew I should be home schooling... under a very big rock', I sat down with her on the front porch.  The conversation went something like this:

Me:  Hmm. Was there a conversation on the bus about rape?
Katie:  Yes, and I just didn't understand.  The fifth graders were talking about it.  They said a man did that to a little girl and that he hurt her really bad.  
Me:  What else did they say?
Katie:  That was all.  Then I started looking out the window and cried.  They said it was the worst thing someone could do to a little girl.  Mom, I know what happened.  That man stuck that little with a really sharp pin, didn't he?  That would really hurt and it is the worst thing I can think of!

She began to cry... so did I.  My tears represented so many thoughts:  the fact that my six-year-old had even heard the word rape, that her innocence was so precious thinking the worst possible thing someone could do to another was to "stick her with a really sharp pin", the reality of the fallen, mean, dirty world we live in, the beginning of many hard conversations I would have with Katie about our world...

Katie's limited world experience with the 'worst possible thing someone could do' guided her thinking.  She is 28 now and her thinking is vastly different with her now additional 22 years of learning this world.  Knowing her tender heart, she [and I] would certainly cry when hearing a similar report today.

Don't you just wonder about the experience the disciples brought with them when they first followed Jesus?  He said, "Follow me!" and they did.  They could not have known the gravity of the journey they would later walk because of that commitment to their Lord.

Studying through the book of Acts, I have been overwhelmed and challenged by the keen boldness of the disciples and apostles.  Like Stephen, who as the crowd was literally throwing stones of death at him, spoke, "Lord, don't charge them with this."  His love for them because of his love for Jesus saw only the hope of their salvation.  Later when Paul had been dragged out of the city, stoned apparently to death, he "got up and went back into the city."  His concern for the souls of those who so brutally beat him caused his action.

Dear friends, like the generations before us, there has been the battle cry touting that Jesus would surely return to claim his bride [the church] during our lifetime.  Should that cry spur us on to action regarding the souls of each one we come in contact with each day?  We know the King is coming - whether in this week, this year, this century... HE is coming - HE promised.

Oh Father, give me Your love for others.  Help me to love You enough to care about the soul of each one...

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