Wednesday, April 9, 2014

embracing the offender.

the other day, miles hit camden.
i don't think it was anything more than a little sibling tiff.
but i noticed something as i was comforting cammie and figuring out what happened.
instead of turning her back on him, she started crying and saying "bubba?" with her arms open wide ready for a hug.
in our home, when you do something that hurts the other person, regardless if there is a bigger consequence, you always always must go immediately "make it right" with the other person.
which means the offender gives a hug and an "i'm sorry" and an "i love you."
and i'm teaching the offendee to say "i've already forgotten about it."
just so we are keeping short accounts and no records of wrongs, if you will.

so when i was comforting cammie and she opened her arms ready to embrace miles, it got me thinking.
she really just wanted to feel his love and to know that he was sorry.
so i called him over and told him what i tell them every time. "gotta make it right, buddy."
and he sorta looked at her sheepishly and timidly, and then walked over and hugged her and kissed her and said he was sorry.
and then it was over. they went on their ways and it was forgotten about.
i'm sure 10 minutes later someone else hurt the other's feelings and we had to work out another incident.
but for some reason this particular time stuck out to me.

i think because in today's society, embracing the offender is just not normal anymore.
we, as humans and especially women, (talking to myself here) we do the opposite of embracing when we've been hurt.
we put up walls, we change our body language, we push the other person away.
we stop trusting, we tune them out, sometimes we gossip.
i know because i do it all the time. it is HARD to embrace when we've been hurt by someone.
we want validation and we want them to pay for what they've done.

but let me tell you something. i've been the offender.
and i'm not talking about just a little offense towards someone.
i've made large mistakes and i've deeply hurt people.
and i know how it feels when someone walks up and embraces you with tears in their eyes and their arms open wide waiting to make it right and restore what was broken.
i know what it's like when after a year of hurting, someone comes back ready to walk down the road of putting the relationship back together.
it is such a warm feeling when you are holding your head down in shame and someone embraces you.
but unfortunately, i also know what it feels like when someone turns their back, puts up their defenses, and walks away.

listen, i am all about boundaries in relationships.
i have worked through that a lot because of broken relationships in my own world and life.
i think boundaries are healthy and so necessary.
and to be honest, i think every single relationship needs them.
but you know what?
they can be so stifling if we forget to learn to love the other person while keeping our boundaries.
and what if camden turned her back on miles that morning and didn't want to allow him to "make it right?"
how sad it would be for the rest of that day for him.
the shame was written on his face when he realized what he had done.
and how good it must have felt when she opened her arms up to let him know he was forgiven and it would be okay!

i just think i want to be more like camden in that moment.
i want to let the other person know that they are loved and forgiven.
even if it takes me a little bit of time to walk through something,
i still want to come out on the other side with my arms open and my defenses down.
it is what Jesus did. and still does.
what if we all did that?


  1. Great post babe, so much for me to learn.

  2. Ooooooo I'm loving this reflection...And because we are going through those same sibling issues daily lately, I am so thankful for parallel. Love your thoughts. As per usual.

  3. Oh Cammie is so innocent still that she has the healthy feminine response. She doesn't know walls and retaliation. I love that picture. And yeah, in my life, the offender may not choose to make it right, but as far as it depends on me, I can sit with arms open, inviting reconciliation no matter the response. That reflects my heart, one that trusts the true Healer to be judge and to see me and my hurt in the way I need. Great post. xo

  4. beautifully said Katy. i still have so much to learn in this life.

  5. i love when you share your heart. love it times a million. thank you so much. this is so hard to do. and so like jesus- you're right.


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