Liz Ward. our Lead Circuit Steward, has submitted the following article – all about understanding.
I don't think I was a particularly naughty child ...... but .........
I must have been about 3 when my parents decorated the sitting room. For some odd reason I decided to sit under the dining table and draw on the new wallpaper with my crayons. When, as an adult (I nearly said 'grown up', but maybe I haven't reached that yet) I said that I must have been told off for that, Mum said "No, we realised that you didn't realise that it was wrong so we just explained that you shouldn't do it again".
I did break a window. I often used to sit on the window sill to read and, when I turned a page, my elbow just went through the pane. My parents agreed that it was an accident and it was in the days when Dad could go to the glazier and buy and fit a new one (I can still remember the smell of putty).
This particular parental response to our behaviour I only discovered very late. When we were children we washed in the kitchen because it was warm. Although we didn't realise it apparently our parents could hear when we were having flannel fights because they heard the slap of the flannel on the door as we ducked. They took it in turns to make a noise opening the sitting room door to alert us they were coming to give us time to stop.
I was fortunate, blessed, with parents who understood me and therefore their judgements on my behaviour, and punishment if needed, were balanced by that knowledge and understanding.
We are also blessed with a God who understands us and who, I believe, will judge us with grace and mercy.
I sometimes wonder if we do the same with each other. Do we try to understand each other, are we forgiving and gentle with our judgements? Do we accept that we all make poor decisions and sometimes act/speak without properly considering the outcomes? Do we assume negative motives rather than positive ones?
It has been very easy over the last 16+ months to criticise the decisions of others, governments, schools, local authorities, churches, etc.. The truth is that, especially in these strange circumstances, there is rarely a 'right' way. So often we have to make balanced decisions, some will agree on what we decide, others will not.
Maybe we should try to understand the person behind the decision or action and then to try harder to judge them graciously and gently.
Enjoy your summer, keep safe and thank you for continuing to care for each other.