“Get over here now!”
The young mom screamed at her two-year-old son who trailed behind as she marched into the women’s restroom.
Stopping at the entrance, the boy began to cry. The mom hollered from within, “Shut up and get in here!”
The toddler stood his ground, wailing. The mom emerged, grabbed him by the shirt collar and carried him into the bathroom.
My neck grew warm. I hurried into the bathroom, ready to intervene for the defenseless boy.
Just as I entered, the mom smacked his bottom and fussed at him, “hurry up and pee.”
Then her angry commands turned to pleas, “Stop crying!”
Heart pounding, I walked to the open stall and stood in front of them. The boy gazed up at me, whimpering, while the mom yanked up his pants; her face bent towards the floor.
“I know you’re exasperated.”
I spoke softly, hoping a gentle answer turns away wrath.
“Perhaps if you didn’t scream at him, he’d stop crying.”
She didn’t respond.
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
Without looking up, she spoke succinctly, “I have this under control, Ma’am.”
Certain the situation was defused, I left them alone.
Minutes later, she came out of the restroom carrying the quiet child, his head on her shoulder. Was this the norm? Screaming fits between mother and child? He who screams loudest wins?
I shuddered to think how she handles conflict in the privacy of her home. I feared for the child. Even if she doesn’t beat him, no child should hear his mother’s berating tone.
But as much as her behavior repulsed me, I longed to reach out. Show her a better way.
Would she receive my words? Accept my help?
Even now, my heart remains heavy.
Is Jesus’ heart any less grieved by what He sees?
“MY Hand is not shortened and it is ‘stretched out still,’ longing and waiting to be allowed to bless and help and save.
Think how tenderly I respect the right of each individual soul. Never forcing upon it My Help, My Salvation.
Perhaps in all My suffering for humanity that is the hardest, the restraint of the Divine Impatience and longing to help, until the call of the soul gives ME My right to act.
Comfort My waiting, loving, longing Heart by claiming My Help, Guidance, and Miracle-working Power.”—God Calling
And so I pray even in this … for that mother to know the love of Christ.