by Maria Scott
We began the final week of the day camp today. I know that it will be bittersweet, because I miss these kids already. Last week, one of the kids (who I will call Justin) was being more difficult than usual. His counselor usually does an amazing job of handling him, but this incident was at the end of a long day and she came to get me to help. When I asked Justin what was going on, he didn’t want to talk about anything he had done, but instead kept saying how much he hated his counselor. He went on and on, saying hurtful things to both of us, complaining about the camp, and saying that he never wanted to come back. Neither of us reacted negatively, but instead we continued to try and get him to calm down and talk about what had made him act out. We didn’t get defensive or retaliate. We just kept talking, listening, smiling…
He eventually quit pulling angrily on the door handle and stopped telling us to get away from him. He ended up sitting in the middle of the floor, with his head in his hands. There was a pause in our conversation, and suddenly Justin softly asked, “Why do y’all like me so much?” I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry! I think I probably came up with a combination of the two.
I have come back to that moment several times since then when I am struggling to be kind. Kindness stands out. It’s not what people in general are conditioned to expect. It’s not what they are used to. I have been shown great grace and love and kindness, and I have been commanded by God to reciprocate those things to the people around me. I need to remember to not be defensive and to not be so concerned about “my rights” that I forget that kindness comes first. This might be the biggest way to radiate Jesus, because it can be so confusing. People will wonder and ask “Why do y’all like me so much?”