Last night was an all-time high for me. I was faced with a choice and I think I made the right one. We attempted to go to the movies on Valentines day. It was absolutely packed. We left. So, yesterday I told the boys I would take them to the movies, just them and Dad. It was going to be great. That is, until we got in the car and started to head north to Franklin and discovered the snow had started to stick and was making the roads very slippery. It was coming down torrentially (can snow come in torrents or is that just rain). I was sure it would be much worse in three hours when it came time to come home. So we just made the loop and went back home.
Ethan, who really wanted to see this movie, having already read the book, was crushed. Two days in a row of getting his hopes up and then getting them dashed at the last possible moment was just more than his ten-year-old psyche could handle. He started crying.
Now, my selfish, hardnosed self wanted to say, “Buck up. Don’t you realize this is small potatoes? Don’t you understand that we’ll see the movie later? Quit crying.” But God must have been doing for me what I can’t do for myself. In that moment, I remembered Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” It doesn’t say tell the weeping that what upsets them is unimportant. It doesn’t say simply try to cheer them up. It doesn’t say discount why they are weeping. It doesn’t say tell them to stop weeping or tell them to buck up. It says weep with those who weep. With that verse in mind I tried to understand what it must be like to have your heart set on something and two days in a row have it come crashing down. It may not be a big deal to me, but it is to him. I tried to think of some scenario in which I would be just as disappointed and sad. I can think of the time I was going to get to see all my friends from Beaumont after doing some preaching in Houston but a hurricane came through and we were all fleeing for our lives. I was extremely sad. I remember being crushed. It was nobody’s fault, that’s just the way it was, but I was so upset about it.
When we got home, I took Ethan to my room, sat in the lazyboy we have up there, and just held him as he cried. I’m very glad that my son feels safe enough with me to let his emotions show. I’m very glad that he was willing to let me hold him and console him. We were able to talk about how life is just disappointing sometimes and its okay to be sad. He then wanted to go see his mom and I let him.
That was a victory for me. I hope the next time one of my children cry, I can have the same Romans 12:15 mindset.