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Peace on Earth | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Peace on Earth

1513212_10152155050020439_134849796_n“The older I get, the less judgmental I am,” a friend told me during coffee yesterday. I understand what she meant.

I’m feeling older these days. And the older I feel, the more I think the Beatles were right with their song “All You Need is Love.”

When I see parents with young children, and the kids are ornery while the parents are frustrated, I just want to tell them to treasure these moments because they will soon pass.

Sometimes I see both sides of the family dynamic. Last night at a store, a tired father barked at his daughter down every aisle of the store. He was getting food for dinner. Each time she suggested something, he barked that they weren’t getting that and she was choosing the wrong things.

Once upon a lifetime ago, I was the little girl who could do no right. I know what the trickling stream of “You can’ts,” and “You aren’t good enough” do to a child’s soul. I saw myself in the little girl who just wanted a moment of affirmation. The greatest gift any father can give his children is affirmation and love. I know because I never had them and have spent a lifetime compensating for the Dad Gap.

And I’ve been the parent working too hard, maybe doing without sleep, and going through strains so hard that I don’t know how I will get through the evening. And if I’m asked one more question, it might be the one who makes the bubble pop.

The father and daughter happened to hit the checkout lane beside mine at the same time I did. His daughter tried to start to unload the cart while they waited in line, and the dad yelled at her to stop.

I prayed for wisdom to say something to help both the father and daughter. “You’ve got a great helper there,” I told the dad. Many times I’ve found a word of praise to a parent diffuses a tense situation.

“She could be if she wanted to be,” was his abrupt answer.

“I miss the days when my kids were helpers. Now they are grown and gone,” I continued.

“I can’t wait till the day she grows up and is gone,” he answered. My heart shrank as I thought of a young girl’s soul being seared without affirmations.

But slowly, as he checked out, the dad seemed less angry. I prayed for another chance. After I wished my cashier a Merry Christmas, and as I got my groceries bagged, I looked straight at the little girl and told her, “Merry Christmas.” And I told the father, “I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.” He may have been tired and angry, but at least he was still there trying, and that’s more than my dad did.

In the little girl’s eyes, I saw a reflection of my own soul as a little girl, just wanting someone to tell me I was good enough and was worthy of love. For just a moment, I saw a spark of hope. All she wanted was love.

The dad didn’t really respond, but there were no more verbally brutal exchanges with his daughter.

As we both left the store, I prayed for a host of angels to cover them last night. I prayed for them to remind him of his precious daughter’s heart, and I prayed for her heart to be protected. I prayed for someone to be able to give them the gift of joy.

So I ask you now. Please look at those around you, Maybe somewhere, you’ll see the father and daughter I saw last night. Or you’ll see someone else who is hurting and needs a moment of love. You can give it. You can share it.

And I reminded myself the first place I needed to start to share that was with my own family – with my husband and my own children.

And then, in our small corner of the world, we can spread the message of Peace on Earth.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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