We are all eminently worthy of love.
But here’s the thing, not everyone believes that or understands that or even accepts it. I work in an elementary school and I get to speak too and work with a lot of children in grades one through five. The vast majority of the kids are terrific, well-behaved, well-balanced and happy. But every once in a while a child comes along who isn’t as happy as the others or seems angry much of the time. She/He often picks fights or arguments and deliberately gets in the way of another child’s fun. Now, it’s easy to get frustrated with a kid like this and ask her/him to behave, to stop doing the questionable behavior but I am often struck by what might be really going on, below the surface, behind the rude remarks and provocations. I ask myself, does he/she know that no matter what life dishes she/he is worthy of love—to be loved and give love?
Could it be that simple (although I understand it really isn’t simple) but could it be that these kids don’t feel or believe they are loved, that it’s okay to give love away? That being nice to their friends will not always result in trouble? You see, sometimes I think these kids get angry or provoke their friends first because it somehow keeps them safe. Even though, in the end, they end up in time-out or with a visit to the guidance counselor or the principal and perhaps worse, the very children who should be their friends walk away.
It’s tough to see a kid struggle with love.
But I have to wonder if it somehow all boils down to this, that God made us lovable. He put that deep in our hearts, even though the world is fallen, we are all born with the capacity to love and to be loved.
Life and other peoples troubles can often make that a hard thing to grasp and hold on to.
This is one of the lessons in my new middle grade book, Cake. Wilma Sue, the protagonist, after experience a ton of rejection in her young life, a brand new life really, comes to learn that in spite of all the bad stuff, she is worthy. Worthy to receive love and give love and it doesn’t always come back to bite you.