God-Sized Lessons and a Vandalized Car

Last week my girls and I went to see Gnomeo and Juliet. May I tell you my favorite part? The best part of the movie is when David Hasselhoff’s head bobbles across the computer as a screen saver. I’m cracking up right now thinking about it.
Anyway, I digress.
As we left the theater, our giggling was interrupted by a horrific sight in the parking lot. Our car, baby-seat and all, had been vandalized… fractured windows, shattered glass, and crushed doors. To make things worse, there were broken beer bottles and used cigarettes scattered across cracked pavement.
The scene looked like a big ol’ mess.
I felt like a big ol’ mess as I stood there in disbelief.
I felt weak.
I felt victimized.
I got a little stressed. I cried a little. I wanted to cuss and spit on something. My face flushed into a new shade of red and my eyes flared-up with anger. Out of all the cars in the parking lot, why mine?
Put down the violins y’all, because this is more than just a sob story. The point of rehashing my Friday afternoon mayhem isn’t to wallow in it, but to share two important lessons God taught me in the middle of it.
Needless to say, the ride home was nippy. Gushes of blazing, snowy wind whirled through the gaping holes in our car. My daughter Samantha said with a crackle in her throat, “I think we should pray for whoever did this because they don’t have Jesus in their heart.”

I felt the sting of failure pinch my heart. While that sweet “thang” in the backseat was speaking over high winds about mercy, her Mama had justice and revenge on her mind.
Pray for them… right now? Are you kidding?
God-Sized Lesson Number One
Instead of entertaining thoughts of stringing up the offender, I needed to rush to the throne of grace and beg for strength beyond what I could muster.
My thoughts mingled in a blur, “I don’t want to pay for someone else’s crime.” Right then Jesus interrupted me. He spoke truth directly to my heart, “That is exactly what I did for you. I paid the price for something you did.”
God-Sized Lesson Number Two
My daughter’s desire to pray for the offender flooded my mind and rung out my soul like a wet dishcloth.

My grumbling heart paused.

My thoughts redirected.

The unsettled bones in my body came to rest. Even though in that moment I didn’t feel like praying, I joined hands with my baby girls anyway.

What a great time to practice…
“Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person,” Luke 6:27-28 (The Message).

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11 Responses

03.31.11

Oh my gosh that was terrible, praise God you all was not in the car or hurt at all. WOW I would been just like you first thing crying like a baby. But out of the mouths of babe your baby said pray. I know at the time I would not wanted to pray but what you baby said is a true sign of how Jesus would of handle the situation I am so glad it worked out with no one being hurt. Love those who do you harm I must say we as saints are tested in this area everyday to see what we will or won't do.

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03.31.11

Sorry for the mess they made of your car, but what a message you got from it! And what a wise little one you have…it is hard to do what we know is right at the time when we are so angry and frustrated! But He has a way of reminding us what we should do 🙂

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What a powerful story! And what a spiritually minded young lady! You have been a great influlence on her!

DJ at Quiet Quill tells a story of missionary friends of hers visiting the country they were considering ministering in. A man came up to the wife and spit in her face, an obvious show of contempt for Americans, Christians or women, perhaps all three. Her husband was afraid she wouldn't want to move there. Instead she said, "We need to move here. They need Jesus."

Wow! Now that is bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth, just like your daughter. Great post.

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Wow! What an amazing little girl you have! I'm SO sorry you had to go through that {{{hugs}}} I've been victimized myself, and I know that horrible sinking feeling – like you said, the thought of praying for the one who causes you such grief gets pushed behind rather "unholy" thoughts!! 🙁 BUT, "I joined hands with my baby girls anyway." Awesome!

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03.31.11

Good job, Momma — your daughter is a beautiful reflection of the Father you have obviously pointed her to throughout her young life! What great lessons to take from that; I can only hope I'd have that much grace in a similar place.

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03.31.11

Great Post. We can learn so much from our little ones!

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03.31.11

Kelli, your words shot right through my heart. When you said you didn't want to pay for someone else's crime, and Jesus said, "That is exactly what I did for you. I paid the price for something you did.” Wow!!!
Thank you for sharing this. Thank you!

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03.31.11

Oh my goodness Kelli! Your daughter's words took my breathe away, I kid you not! I am afraid that would have been the farthest thing from my mind, yet it should have been the first thing on my mind. Great post and thank you so much for this reminder!

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03.31.11

Sweet Sammy Hope, I love How God uses our children to get our attention in times like these. I wonder if He does that because it's the only way we'll hear Him when our minds are set off over extreme circumstances. Awesome.

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You have a precious little soul there Kelli… Isn't it wonderful when our children can see past a situation and focus on the "big picture" when we can't?

Nice job Samantha. 🙂

Have a Blessed Day!

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We learn so much from our kids don't we? What a sweet thang! 🙂 Still, I'm sorry you had to experience this.

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