We sat in our booth at Chick-fil-A, my daughter and I, just hanging out and getting a rare moment of down time where it was just the 2 of us.
I begged her to choose another option for lunch that day but she insisted. Oh wait I am sorry, what she actually said was that she didn’t like anything but Chick-fil-A on Wednesday. Nothing at all on Wednesday but Chick-fil-A. She won, off to the land of chicken we went.
As we sat in our booth waiting on the sweet lady at the counter to bring us our food when I heard a situation start to unfold that immediately made me cringe. It was one of those moments where you wish you could just scream freeze and get everyone to relax for just a second and think about their next move.
I stood up to look over (yeah, I’m nosey). And there it was, the mom shaming. Why, why do we do this to ourselves?
Let me explain what happened. The playground was full but not packed on this day. We moms could actually sit from our table and see everything that was going on without loosing our kids to chaos. One very cute little boy seemed to want to be playing with the others but was not getting the response he wanted so, he hit. He did, he hit and scratched a few friends on the playground. The mother’s of the children who were hurt of course ran to their kiddos. They swooped them up and out they went but what happened next is what I just can’t get over.
I looked over at the mother whose child was hitting and she looked broken. You guys, I know you have been where she was before. This sweet Momma looked like her world was crumbling. Her husband was with her and he looked exhausted as well. They had a baby in a carrier sitting quietly next to them and you could just tell they needed a quick break. As soon as they saw what their child was doing the dad ran to get him. He proceeded to do what any good parent would do and removed his child from the situation for a quick time out. He talked to the 2 year old as best as he could and gave him another chance. But unfortunately he starts hitting again. All parents involved jump up repeating the actions they did before.
Apparently their actions were not enough. The other moms, who are understandably upset but also aware that the child who hurt their children is being disciplined, just start letting the mom of the little boy have it. “Aren’t you going to get up. You need to get him under control. Ma’am, ma’am. Aren’t you going to do anything.” Her response, “I’m trying.”
Things eventually calmed down and a chair opened up a the table next to this sweet mama. I went and sat and down and immediately realized what was going on. She had a new born next to her, the most precious and sweet little bundle of pink. I looked at her and said, “Hey, I just want you to know that you are doing a great job.” She looked back at me with tears in her eyes and responded with, “you have no idea how much I needed to hear that right now, thank you.”
And that is when I realized that Chick-fil-A was exactly where I was supposed to be that day for lunch.
Don’t you just love how the Lord works? I had no desire to Eat More Chikin’ that day but it was where He desired for me to be. I was an outsider looking in and I could see the entire picture. I could see the frustration on multiple Mom’s faces as they were trying to protect their children and I could see brokenness from another sweet Momma as she was entering her first of many days in the trenches with 2 small children under 2.
I looked at this and realized what a perfect example this is of how our Heavenly Father sees us. He sees the work we are all putting in, He sees our struggles and heart aches, our successes and our failures. He sees all of our individual situations but He can also see the big picture.
He sees us all living in a world right now of injustice with pain and confusion coming from every angle. He sees our hearts and understands why we feel the way we do but He also sees how we are all missing the mark.
We are all fighting against each other. We are fighting for many different reasons and causes looking only at things from our seat and not taking the time to stop and look, really look at the person on the other side who is hurting and broken. We are not stopping to give Grace to others when Grace is all we have been given.
Moms, I challenge you today to step back, look at the big picture and give some grace. You never know what battle someone else is fighting on the other side of the playground.