Misbehaving Kids and the Gospel of Grace In an ER Waiting Room
In the overcrowded waiting room sat a young mom with a couple of her boys. They were around 4 and 10 years old. Mom looked a little pale, and was in obvious pain…and her two boys looked as bored and restless as kids can get when sitting around for hours on end. The younger, typically, kept pestering the older with questions and uncontainable energy while the older drew on a pad of paper…or tried to anyway.
Finally the older one just snapped, and yelled at his little brother to stop bugging him.
The little one began sobbing.
A scene that no doubt plays out in waiting rooms everywhere…
The entire waiting room fell silent and all eyes were on this poor young mom. Obviously in pain, mom gently lifted the upset younger boy into her lap, and took her older boy’s hand, gently took the pen away, and looked him straight in the eyes and calmly asked, “What is the fruit of the spirit?”
He quietly began reciting Galatians 5:22-23, and as he passed by the word, “patience,” she asked him, “Were you patient with your brother?”
Then she went on to validate the older boy’s feelings and acknowledged the boredom and frustration that he was experiencing, and then she explained how his impatience was sinful and that there was forgiveness in Jesus. The older pouted as all kids do when they are wrong and know it…with a bit of an attitude he asked the younger to forgive him. They hugged, I am not sure either meant it, but they started drawing together on that little pad of paper and giggles ensued.
A little old lady walked over and gave all three of them a candy. And said, “Some days are hard. But you’ll be fine. You know where your strength comes from. God bless you.”
I just smiled. We just have no idea where or how God will work. Perhaps a seed was planted in that waiting room.
Then I wondered how I would have handled my kids in that situation…would I have raised my voice? Hushed them? Pulled out my phone and let them play video games? Probably all three. Would I have pointed to the gospel in a crowded hospital waiting room? I hope I do now.
Good job mom.