We’re eating leftover birthday cake in the kitchen after school and he confides again with big soft solemn eyes:
‘Kristin is not a kind fwend. Coz she said she’s gonna kick my butt. And she said I’m a poo-poo head. And I said I not a poo-poo head because I are Scott! And I not want to play with angry fwends. I only want to play with kind fwends.’
I muster all the forces of facial control not to laugh because he’s so super serious and so super cute and there’s so much truth and courage in three-year-olds.
I try to weave words around his hurting heart. I say how for sure Kristin is not being kind and how it’s ugly to say butt and poo-poo. I say how I also don’t want to play with angry friends. I say how proud I am because he knows who he is and he knows what he wants. He is Scott Gideon Reyburn. Mighty hero. We navigate the knife-edge of gentle courage – strength under control – because it’s never ok to hit a girl even if she’s bigger than you and will kick your butt. We talk about the subtle difference between tattle-taling and whistle-blowing and I’m not sure I always know.
Cam comes into the kitchen to do homework and we practise his memory verse. Love is patient. Love is kind. We make it personal. Cam is patient. Cam is kind. Scott is patient. Scott is kind. Mom is… so glad there’s grace.
I tell Cam that the pool guy was arrested this morning because it turns out he has broken his promises to lots and lots of people – told lots and lots of fibs – stolen lots and lots of money. We know. I explain about trust and mistakes and how the pool guy pretended to be a kind friend but he wasn’t. (Scott says Mr Plod has taken the pool guy to jail.) I think how humbling – how embarrassing – how infuriating – how expensive – for grownups to have their butts thoroughly kicked.
Then I think of the ways God might be causing all this butt-kicking to work together for our good.
I have to think quite hard.
David Crowder sings it loud in the lounge – you make everything glorious. Paul says it soft in my soul – for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return. (2 Timothy 1:12)
So maybe the butt-kicking recalibrates our hearts into total dependence on God, for his glory. And butt-kicking like nothing else demands courage. Because it takes courage to hold back and stand firm and take action and trust justice. It takes courage to be patient and kind.
Scott wears his superhero cape all afternoon. He puts it on again after bath. I worry he’ll get tangled in his sleep but he insists. Wears it all night. It’s like he’s declaring it: Mighty hero, the Lord is with you! Go with the strength you have. (Judges 6) Because we can stand up to the butt-kicking when we know that the God who is before and after name-callers and fraudsters has named us and called us.
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