I often hear God talking to me through the things I say to my kids. God is a parent after all.
Today my 7 year-old son dropped my phone in the toilet. Here’s how this played out: I’m wandering around my bedroom trying to avoid the pile of laundry on the bed that needs to be put away, and I hear the sound of my son’s panicked breathing in the other room. He hasn’t said a word or really uttered an actual sound–I just hear the breathing that tells me something is wrong.
I rush into the living room where I find him jumping around, crying. Now he’s making sounds, but still no words. It’s the cry of, “I did something and something bad happened.” Parents, you feel me on this, you know the cries and the facial expressions that mean certain things even if no words have been spoken.
“What happened?” I ask, my own panic rising, fearing that some ill had befallen his younger brother or a pet or who knows what.
My son is holding my phone. I’m starting to piece it together.
“Tell me with words what happened?” I say again.
“It only went over the edge,” my son says, and I know what’s gone down.
The phone–into to toilet. You know how you just know… yeah.
“The phone fell in the toilet,” I say and I’m not going to lie to you, there was anger in my voice. I’ve told him not to take my phone in the bathroom.
He can tell I’m angry, and he starts to cry even more. I try to assess the damage and not to raise my voice too badly, because even in the heat of the moment, I know it was an accident.
After I get the whole story from him and put the phone in the other room so that neither one of us are focused on it, I sit and talk to my son about what just happened.
I urge him to come to me more calmly, so that I know what’s going on and how to address it. I tell him that I might be angry about what happened, but that I love him and we’ll work it out. He nods, tears still dropping from his eyes, but relief relaxing his face.
The phone seems to be ok, and I go on about my business.
Now, all of this that has just transpired would be enough of a reminder of the way God knows when something has happened just by the sound of our heart.
“Come talk to me,” He says. “Tell me what’s happened, and even though I might not like what you’ve done, I love you and we’ll work it through.”
BUT, the thing that really turned my attention that God was speaking to me through the words that I spoke to my own child, was when my son came to me later, still talking about the phone. Asking how much a new one cost. Wondering what needed to be done to repair the phone if it was broken after all. Saying that maybe there was something he could do.
Without a second thought, put my hands on his head and kissed his hair and said, “I want you to stop worrying about this. Everything is ok.”
I meant between the two of us, of course. I didn’t even care about the phone anymore.
Well, that stopped me in my tracks as they say, because I know all the things that I go back to God with over and over, after He and I have already talked about them, after I know He’s already let it go or that His plan to take care of it is already in the works, and He says to me, “I want you to stop worrying about this. Everything is ok.”
Tears drop from my own eyes, and relief fills my heart. My father loves me and everything is ok.