29 May 2011
this isn't you
Once I got lost at a festival. It took three security personnel to pin me down on the cart so they could drive me to the lost and found tent.
I was reminded of these instances, and several others I can think of, during the most spectacular fit Yonah has thrown to date. It required quite literally my entire strength and every single limb in order to pin him to my lap in such a way that he would not physically harm himself or anyone near him (namely, me) as he was trying to do. This after having to practically drag him across the parking lot to the car. I only barely managed it.
As he screamed like he was having all his bones broken at once, I found myself desperately begging God for help, wisdom, guidance, a miracle, something. And then I realized that I was talking. But while it was my voice, and my mouth, the words didn't originate in me:
"This isn't you. You aren't bad, dumb, or stupid. You are good, smart, and kindhearted. This isn't you. Do you think it is?"
The effect was instantaneous. The wild struggle died as he fell limp against my chest. The screams disappeared into the whimpering hiccups of a child calming down from a really good cry. Slowly, he shook his head, answering the question. We sat there together for at least a quarter of an hour more, talking together of who God made him to be, what had triggered the fit, and what a better way of responding would have looked like.
By the time we got home for a quick lunch and a long nap, I felt like I had been given a swift, hard punch - both to my physical body and to the seat of my emotions. After the month I've been having, and especially in the aftermath of the sermon I (mostly) listened to this morning, Yonah was not the only one who needed to hear those words.