Her Contrite Heart

My kids are far from perfect. Just as how tight, how long, and how sweet they hug each other, they fight just as fervently. My little boy is almost seven years younger than my girl, but he fights with her and hurts her. And the older sometimes stops him like the older sister that she is, sometimes hurts him back, but often she just evades him when he’s being hostile. The little boy is naughty and strong-willed, and his “Ate” (Filipino word used for older female as a sign of respect) is more often impatient than long-suffering.

Oh, my beloved husband and I, we bathe them with prayers night and day and mold them in the Word. We just have to be steadfast and never give up.

It’s one of those days, we are about to start Hannah’s spelling drills in preparation for their school’s Spelling Bee, when suddenly, my little Tim does something to her foot that hurts her and it is one of those days that she is more irked than feeling kind, so she kicks him back in his foot. And I, I am just horrified and feel frustrated by it all I want to cry.

Later in the evening when my daughter and I meet again for our nightly Bible reading and discussion, we continue with our reading of Luke and we read that place where Simeon prophesied about the baby that Joseph and Mary brought to the temple to be dedicated. And he spoke these words about the baby Jesus, the Messiah:

Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” (Luke 2:34-35 NLT)

My daughter, she reads the words and when she gently puts down the holy book, I open my mouth to speak. I explain to her the passage, so fervently my eyes well up and my voice breaks.

“… the life of the Lord Jesus – how He loved and gave ALL of Himself, His compassion, His kindness – this would pry open the heart and reveal at last what’s stuffed in there… there’s no way that a heart, a life, wouldn’t be touched by the life He lived and exemplified…

… the Lord Jesus, compassionate as He was, as He is, and as He always will be, do you think that He would hurt you back when you hurt Him? He said that whatever you do to the least of your brethren, you do it to Him. Can you imagine Him kicking you back? Would He really do that to you?”

I am barely whispering, but the words are powerful nonetheless. My heart, my soul, they are in each word that comes out of my lips. This young girl, this tender heart, I can reach out deeper inside. I must. This is the work of the Spirit. And I have her undivided attention. I look at her fully, my eyes imploring, and I can read what is written across her face – a dawning, a realization. God’s truth, God’s mercy – these have dawned on her.

My question hangs between us, and she answers me this, her voice fainter than a whisper, “No, Mom.” Then she lays her head on my lap, her forehead touching my Bible. I see the tears wetting that place between her face and the Bible. She doesn’t sob, but just this gentle, silent release of repentance. A heart that has been tenderly opened by the Lord Jesus, and revealed. And cleansed.

That is ALWAYS the purpose of the Word, the Messiah – to cleanse, to deliver, to restore.

I run my hand through her long, jet-black tresses, ever so tenderly, lovingly, and I whisper, “You’ve just made the Lord so glad by your contrite heart. Oh, I know just how much He treasures you, your tears of earnest remorse!” I kiss her head and whisper to her these words, assuring her:

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This post is linked to Time-warp Wife, Domestically Divine, Women Living Well, Women in the Word Wednesday, Raising Homemakers, Walk with Him Wednesday, Brag on God Friday, Spiritual Sundays, Proverbs 31 Thursday

5 comments on “Her Contrite Heart

  1. Saleslady371 says:

    This is a beautiful moment from your personal lives, so lovely! Thank you for encouraging and “mothering” me with it!

  2. I think what goes on among your kids is perfectly normal, and I imagine that they will all grow up to be wonderful, caring adults, who support and love each other. You have a beautiful relationship with them. I know sometimes having many kids who happen at the moment to be at each other’s throats can be wearisome, and it seems like you are always trying to get them to be more loving and then, just when you think that they are very imperfect, one (like my son) will carry a cupcake home from school for his sick sister — his one allowed cupcake that he did not eat with the other children but carried back home all the way to the city bus stop, then for a 20-minute ride on the bus, then a mile by foot, all the way holding the cupcake so that it would be fresh and undamaged for *his* sister. Eight-year-old love can be overwhelming, and it does grow into a very strong adult bond. Looks like your kids are well on the way, regardless of their not yet having learned more “adult” ways to handle their frustration and anger. Good luck — but enjoy the journey, too.

  3. Charlotte says:

    Dear Rina, Your children are blessed to have such a caring mother who prays for them and teaches them God’s ways. I know God will honor all your efforts and your children will grow up to carry on that tradition.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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