Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I feel punished. Punished for what I've done and have failed to do. Punished for what I'm doing and fail to do. Punished for what I have yet to do and will fail to do. Woe is me.
Naughty as I am, that which has come my way has been richly deserved. I measure His plans for me by the amount of time I feel shamed. And there's something reassuring about the pain, even as it courses through me like some incurable disease. The more I am broken, the more He will work to put me together again. But it just doesn't feel like that. No. It feels like I am punished, and I always will be.
I know how my daughters, and the students I serve, feel when I punish them. Using the word makes me feel uncomfortable, but let's be honest, parents punish their children, and educators punish students. We punish one another. You can use whatever words make you feel more comfortable, but when it comes down to it, it's still punishment. Sorry, I don't know where I was headed there. Anyway, they may not believe I know how they feel, but I do. Sure as all get out I do. As certain as I am about understanding those feelings, I also know something else: When we are truly listened to, and when we truly listen, then we are learning. Punishment, then, isn't the beginning or the ending of the story.
Love, however, is.