One of the side effects of writing "The Gratitude Project" is learning to better know myself. This has not been a particularly easy process as so much of what I've learned is unpleasant. It's not that I am so un-selfaware that I don't recognize my faults and weaknesses. It's just that writing this blog has brought them out in sharp and unrelenting relief.
A while ago, someone hurt one of our children very deeply. My claws came out, ready to rake this individual up and down. I remarked to my husband that I was a mama grizzly defending her cub. He laughed and said that I was more like a wolverine, the most vicious mammal, pound for pound, in the animal kingdom.
I wasn't certain whether to take this as a compliment or an insult. Finally, I decided to regard it as evidence that when I love, I love deeply and woe unto anyone who attacks my babies, no matter how old those babies may be. Still, his words stuck in my mind. Am I so unforgiving? Am I so ready to lift my fists (both figuratively and literally) at my enemies? The answer was an unfortunate yes.
On Sunday, as I accompanied the Primary children on the piano, the words of one song reached in and squeezed my heart.
"Help me, dear father, to freely forgive
All who may seem unkind to me.
Help me each day, Father, I pray,
Help me live nearer, nearer to thee."
The children sang with utter conviction and faith. Their high, pure voices touched my soul in a way that no amount of sermonizing could.
So, for today, I am grateful for the sweet voices of children.