Your grandmother’s pearl necklace is a treasured family heirloom. You toddler looks at it every time she passes your dresser. It hangs from a special stand, it calls at her… longing to be held. Every time she asks you if she can wear it, you tell her no. Or, not right now. You know in your head this is a special gift you want to give her on her wedding day. She doesn’t know or understand that at all, she just knows that she wants to touch it. This curiosity carries on for years.
Mom, can I wear it?
No, not right now.
When you are older.
I don’t want you to break it.
I promise, I won’t!
I am not taking the chance.
One day, you happen to be distracted in the garden. You are preparing your spring plantings. Opportunity has presented itself, this time temptation overwhelms. She sneaks in to your room, climbs the chair next to your dresser, slides the necklace of it’s stand and around her sweet little neck. She hears the front door open, fearing getting caught, she panics and attempts to take the necklace off, and return it to the stand. It snags. Pearls fly every where.
You see the pearls strewn about the floor. You are angry.
You look up & see her tear stained face, lips quivering. She knows she was wrong. She knows she is trouble. But worst of all, she knows she broke your heart. This necklace that meant so much to you, is in pieces… just like her spirit.
What do you do? How do you respond?
Do you point in her face, exclaiming how you knew this is what would happen? Do you take to facebook, twitter or your blog and brag about you just knew this would happen, that it was impossible for your child to control her self? Or, do you scoop her up and love her first…. worrying about the pearls later?
How would you feel if you shared this story with your friends, and the next day you find hundreds of shared posts about how your daughter messed up, questioning your parenting for leaving her inside unsupervised, that they always knew you were a bad parent, had bad children, etc?
What if your daughter could see all of those comments hurled at you, about your family?
This is the scenario that runs through my head every time I see some sort of major scandal break the news. Particularly when it is a high profile Christian, or Christian family. Very quickly the masses weigh in:
I always knew there was something wrong with that family, they can’t be that perfect.
I knew there was something untrustworthy about him, I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
What a hypocrite, teaching his church one thing, while he lived another!
She had it coming, something about her just seemed off.
No wonder her marriage failed, look how she treated him!
… and the list could go on forever.
In these comments, we are bragging about ourselves at the expense of someone’s deep pain. And, even if “the guy” or “the girl” was wrong, totally, we ignore that they have a family (or church family) that is hurting too.
We don’t restrain our words, we just let them fly loosely, sticking where they land. We don’t recognize that they are landing right in the lap of the woman who was cheated on, the church that was taken advantage of, the victims who have been trying to heal, and the children who have had their hero exposed to be a villain.
This isn’t a blog article to vindicate those who are guilty, to excuse their behavior.
It’s just a caution, that when a scandal breaks… before we do that victory dance, bragging about how right we are…
…. let’s not forget that someone is hurting in a way we can’t fathom.
Someone just had their world torn apart.
Someone just had an old wound ripped open.
Someone needs you to say, I am sorry this happened to you…
… more than they need to hear how right you were.
Someone, needs your prayers.