TODAY’S FORECAST: Proud
We are taught that pride is a sin, and am I ever guilty of it in my own life! It frequently has me running to the mirror pointing at myself and yelling “Sinner!!!!” like something from the “Church Lady,” for those of you who are old Saturday Night Live fans. 🙂 Well, okay, not that dramatic maybe, but it has me praying and in self-reflection quite a bit. It’s definitely one of my personal vices.
Today though, I’m talking about a different kind of pride, pride in my children. Is that different than pride in myself? I guess I need to pray a little more on the subject to answer that; but in the meantime, I’d like to share a story that I hope is not prideful in the wrong sense, but rather a statement of thanks for what God is teaching me through my kids.
Our son, Jake is reading ‘Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. It is actually intended for a little bit older audience, but since he’s an advanced reader and I read it first, I decided it was plenty safe. Finding good books for him to read is always a challenge, so when I find one he can read or we can read together, we jump on it. We have been reading this book for Jake’s required nightly reading. Sometimes we take a break and he does Captain Underpants, Star Wars or something else, but then he’ll ask, “Mom can we read Wonder today?” and we do. Today was one of those days.
Amazon’s book description for Wonder reads:
I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
Today as Jacob was reading to me, we reached a part of the story where some classmates call “Auggie” some dreadful names. Jake got this very weird look on his face, and I wondered if he was suddenly feeling sick. Yes, he was, but not in the way I thought. He said, “Mom, those kids are soooo mean, how could you call another person those names? That is just terrible, bad.” Before I knew it, he was across the room and thrown into my lap crying. I cuddled him for a few minutes and said to both kids (since Meghan was sitting nearby witnessing his reaction), “This is what we have to remember, guys. When we say unkind things about others or hear others saying unkind things about others, Jake’s right, it’s not good. That is not how Jesus would want us to act. It’s so easy to say something, but it’s impossible to take it back.” My baby boy looked at me and said, “Is that why Jesus had to die on the cross, Mom?”
With tears in my eyes I answered him, “Yes, Jacob, that’s why He did.”
We’d all be smart to remember that. If a seven-year old, second-grader can get it, why can’t we?” So you tell me, am I proud today? Yep, I sure am, and blessed by the Wonder of it all.