Do you want fries with that?
A few of you may have seen where I posted a video of my daughter last week. She was throwing one of those terrible two tantrums earlier this year because we had left the playground at McDonalds. She really doesn't like the food so much as the toys and play place that are part of the eating experience. In case you missed it, here it is:
To be fair, she does have a good side. She can be quite gentle and funny. Here's a clip of her putting her baby bunny to sleep:
I'm not sure that these huge mood swings ever leave us as we get older. I think we just learn to control them in public. I can tell you that I sing my daughter a lullaby every night. She's one of the only people who requests my magnificent serenading on a daily basis so I'm more than willing to help. But I also know that if one of my boys blows up a latex balloon in my presence, I will turn into the Incredible Hulk (and they don't like me when I'm angry).
It took three kids for me to actually be able to laugh at the tantrums and to realize that they really are funny if you sit back and watch. Perhaps I should have someone record my Hulk moments so that I can then laugh at myself.
I was reminded recently that anger is not really a bad thing. We always think of it as a "sin" because it is usually directed at someone and we really don't want others to direct anger toward us so why should we be angry at others?
But Jesus got angry. He got angry a lot. He turned over tables. He called people names. I think he even got a bit snarky at times.
But what most of us want to remember is the Jesus with the children around him. The one who tells stories. The Jesus who holds a lamb. The Baby Jesus who doesn't cry.
And what we really have is both. Jesus the angry and Jesus the gentle. Jesus the just and Jesus the giver of grace.
So the next time your child throws a fit and later on gives you an unsolicited hug, remember that they are being Jesus-like. Its our job to help them control their emotions so that they will be the most effective at just the right time.
Or you could just ask them if they want fries with that.
Until Everyone Hears,