Note: I began to write this on Wednesday and life interrupted.  So, for those of you who want to know the time-line, “yesterday” refers to Tuesday, too cumbersome to rewrite.

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.   Romans 8:28-29

I am reading a book called The Divine Embrace by Ken Gire.  It in, one of the things the author advocates is reviewing the day and thanking God for the gifts received and the gifts you were able to give, as evidences, glimpses of Christ in your life.  It reminded me of Laurie’s recent post, the Art of remembering.  And today, as I was reading, I was reviewing yesterday, thinking about gifts for which I could be thankful.

You see, yesterday, my 14 year old non-ambulatory son broke his leg at school . . . or rather had his leg broken (since it is physically impossible for him to put himself in a situation in which his limbs are in jeopardy) . . . for the second time in 15 months . . . same leg . . . same spot . . . very similar circumstances.  This should not be.

So, where’s the gift? 

I was angry when I got the call; angry that my son has not been safe, has not been cherished the way he deserves; angry that my agenda had been usurped; angry that I have to keep fighting the same battle over and over; and yes, a little angry that this is my lot.

When I called the school to let them know that his leg was indeed broken, the line went to voice mail and I left a message.  Then, both times the teacher called back, I was unable to answer the phone.  I had plenty of time to think as we waited in the Doctor’s office, xray center, doctor’s office, orthopedic office, exam rooms, etc.  One of the things that happened as I was thinking is that God allowed me to think clearly over the circumstances of this lastest incident.  Even though the circumstances were very similar, the first break was clearly due to negligence, he was not being supervised properly, but this time, these circumstance really could have happened on anyone’s watch.  And, by the time the teacher stopped by the house around 5 to apologize and give us, as she put it, a chance to “rant and rave”, I was no longer angry.  I did not have to exercise any self-control to “not sin” in my anger.

So, I was able to say to her, “I forgive you.”  I was able to say, “that could have happened to anyone.”  I was able to say, “I’m not angry.”  Ludicrously to anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ as constant companion and guide, I found myself reassuring her.  And she told me about other parents and the way they have treated her, yelled at her, cursed at her for far less reason.  

One of the things Ken Gire suggests is that when God seems silent, He is ” . . . silent in the way an artist at work is silent . . . quietly at work in [us], forming Christ in [us].

It is the last place we look when we are looking to see Jesus.

In ourselves.”

Also, the day seems to have had a curiously grounding effect on me, something I needed most desperately.  One can’t beat real hardship for dispelling formless anxieties.

So, back to gifts, evidences of Christ. 

I am thankful for having had the time and opportunity to think rationally, to review events before I was called upon to react; God’s voice saying, “This is no one’s fault.”  I am thankful for the grounding, the perspective that has taken me out of myself; God’s voice saying, “This is what’s important.”  I am thankful for friends who prayed, offered to help, came to visit just to say, “we’re here”; God’s voice saying, “I love you.”

But most of all, I am thankful for the gifts I was able to give; the gift of forgiveness; the gift of kindness; the gift of love.  Because these gifts are evidences of Christ in me.  And the difference that  she saw in me, that sets me apart from the “other parents” is the love of Jesus.  And when she looked into my face and I said, “I forgive you”, she saw the face of Christ.  No gift could possibly be sweeter; God’s voice saying, “You’re my girl.  Like Father, like daughter.”

A good day.

  . . . God works for the good of those who love him . . .

And I do . . . O, I do.