Lessons from the Playground

My daughter sat dejectedly beside me on the couch. “She told me that she didn’t want to play with me and it hurted my feelings.” Her eyes were sad as she described what had happened on the playground that morning. “I tried to give her a stamp but she didn’t want it and then she told me that she didn’t want to play with me.”

She had been so excited to play with her little friend. She had talked all morning about it. And then this.

It took me back to my own childhood. I heard those same words. Often. They would spit and push and throw rocks but it was the words that hurt most of all. They were just kids. Still, it took time and Jesus to let it go.

I looked at my daughter. Obviously, the fact that one little girl didn’t want to play with her didn’t mean that she would have years of difficulty when she went to school. But I’d learned some things along the way. And the learning could be applied here too.

“You know sweetie, we need to forgive people when they hurt us.” Truth. Letting go is freeing.

My daughter turned her head towards me. “Yeah,” she said with a small smile. “She hurted my feelings. But I still love her.”

But I still love her. Such a beautiful lesson in grace. When someone hurts me, do I love them anyway? Grace is not my natural response, not something I can do on my own. It requires some time on my knees first. It takes Jesus.

Sometimes, I’m the one doing the hurting. I say things and do things I shouldn’t. Afterwards, I feel miserable. Which begs another question. Do I allow that same grace to cover me?

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”

It’s in the Bible for a reason. We all mess up. We sin. We hurt each other. But then there’s the next part. The part that makes all the difference.

“…and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

No one deserves grace. No one can earn it. But it’s there.

It’s why He came.

So let’s accept it. Embrace it.

And extend it.



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