In her absolute and utter frustration
she scooted so very purposefully up to her sister
and bopped her in passing.
Now her sister can admittedly be absolutely and utterly frustrating,
and yet, we quickly and consistently (and repeatedly) affirm,
bopping, punching, pushing, hitting, pinching, kicking
are all absolutely utterly unacceptable responses.
She fled to her room and slammed the door
on parental ire rapidly ascending the stairs behind her.
When nonetheless confronted she screamed her inarticulate rage
and stormed out of the room: “I’m going to take a shower.”
When followed, even there though, she was found standing in the tub,
within the stream of water, crying—
confessing: “I get mad and before I know it,
I want to scream or I want to hit.
I can’t control myself.”
And weren’t we the proud and encouraged parents
at this experiential affirmation of Pauline insight:
“I do not understand my own actions.
For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15).
Is this not a remarkable maturity amidst admirable growth?
And so from the Fullness we receive we offer grace upon grace (John 1:16),
and her mom said to her, “You know, you’re eating a lot. You’re sleeping a lot.
Your legs hurt. I think you might be going through a growth spurt.
And if you’re going through a growth spurt,
maybe it’s a little harder to control your emotions.”
Of course, you know that other part of Paul’s insight, don’t you?
Paul’s awareness of just how easy it was to take advantage of grace.
“Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace?
By no means!” (Romans 6:15)
For later, in the car, on our trip, in her absolute and utter frustration,
she leaned over the car seats and bopped her sister.
And when immediately confronted, she quickly exclaimed,
“It wasn’t me. It was my growth spurt!”
Hmmmm. More growing to do … for all of us … no?