Last Friday was rough. It started out great. I got to try some dulce de leche ice cream. If you ever get a chance you have to try it, it’s amazing. However, when I got to the center, it was hard to be positive.
Fridays are fun days at the center. Joana reads a book and plans activities and games that correspond. Sometimes it seems like we take one step forward and two steps back. During reading time, Ruth listened, but after snack time it was chaos. I’ve had kids bite me, spit on me, step on foot, and much more. However, I’ve never seen a child who could not listen like Ruth. It was almost as if I was invisible. Finally I grabbed her and had her look me in the eyes. I had her listen. And when she looks at my face I think it gives her perspective. I think she sees how much I care, she remembers what she has to do, and she does so willing fully.
But when we went inside I realized her homework was not going to be done. All she wanted to do was run around the classroom, open drawers, and play games. No matter how many times I said her name, talked to her, or tried to motivate her, all that she wanted to do was play.
After about 30 minutes of this, we finally got to do her homework. I had to give her a punishment. I told her that we wouldn’t be able to play outside next week. To be honest, I was discouraged. She was pouting, and she sat for ten minutes not wanting to do her homework. But I wouldn’t let her play, I knew that she needed to learn to have discipline, even if it wasn’t what made her happy at the moment. I wouldn’t give up on her. I tried to control it, but tears started streaming down my face. I just wished she could see how much potential she had. I wish she could see what a good memory she has. I wish she could see all that she could do if she just listened. My heart broke, not because she was disobedient, but because I wanted her to see how much more she could do if she listened.
And then it hit me that that must be how God feels. He has this plan for us and I can’t imagine how he feels when we don’t listen. He doesn’t want to discipline us, but he loves us too much to let us stay where we are. I think most times we feel like Ruth. We want to play. We don’t understand why we are being punished, we don’t understand why we have to do so much work. We wonder why God lets us be so sad, and we don’t understand. But we don’t realize that God is crying. He hates to see us in pain. However, he knows that just like Ruth, it’s for our benefit.
I love Ruth way too much to let her waste her time. I know she can learn, I know she can do so much more than she thinks she can. And I’m determined to show her that even if it means that I have to temporarily sacrifice her happiness.
I think God is the same way, except he loves A LOT more. God cares way more about our character than our comfort. He loves us way too much to let us ruin our lives with temporary pleasures and worthless things.
I was listening to this song “Captain” by Hillsong United, and when I looked up, this is what I had doodled. This picture I think perfectly describes what I realized with Ruth.
Because sometimes we just see a bunch of dots that need to be traced, random lines, and shapes that need to be filled, but we forget that we have an artist who is creating something beyond what we could imagine for our lives. Sometimes we forget we have a captain that is setting our sails for a destination that we don't even know exists. We just see God’s discipline, or the pain. For now we may just see random drawings, for now we just may see the messy marks, and the incomplete picture, but at the end of our lives we get to see the masterpiece. We get to see to see how every dot, curve, shape, and swirl fits together to create something more beautiful than we can even imagine.