Thursday, 3 March 2011

Not a caterpillar anymore

I was working late last night and as usual, if I'm working late, I'll ring Andy to see how the kids have done at school, have they got any homework, have they eaten their dinner ............ and for the first time ever last night it was reported back to me there was no broccoli left for my dinner as the kids had eaten it all.

Parents everywhere know that when the green stuff is accepted by the kids, that's a major breakthrough.  A momentus time when you realise as a parent your persistence has finally paid off.

And this trivial little episode has spoken volumes to me.  About how we often look at somebody's character and believe they'll never change.  We don't allow them to grow because we think they're not capable.   Or we look at the person they were a year ago, or five years ago, or ten years ago, and can't quite grasp that, yes, actually, they have changed - or perhaps, we have changed and they were who they were all along and we were the ones at fault. 

People change and at times, the change is so dramatic, we are unable to grasp it or even accept it.  They are who they've always been.  We see people who fail at school, but as adults they run successful businesses, we see people who were once full of hate become the most caring doctors and nurses.  We see corrupt politicians go to jail and become Christians (Jonathan Aitken).  We see drug addicts become counsellors.

If we accept that our children change as they get older, what is so hard about accepting adults who change?

So, my challenge to everyone is to consider people in our lives we have a permanent judgement over.  Who is that person we look at and say, 'Oh him/her, they'll never change.  I've known them for years and I know them better than they know themselves.  I've seen them do this, and I've seen them do that.  I've heard them say this and I've heard them say that.  I know they'll never change.'

My challenge is that we pray for that person and moreso that we pray God powers a change in us towards that person.  My challenge  is that we see them for who they really are and not who we think they are.  Then, do something nice for them.  Even if it is just to say hello next time we see them and not walk by assuming them to be somebody else.  And overall, consider which one of us is the caterpillar now and which one is the butterfly.


Emma Major said...

amazing Karen, thanks for sharing, I have been praying on this very same issue and was even discussing it at a meeting last night. For me this is a really key part of growth as a disciple, both to face change and accept it in others.

Karen said...

I also think it's a major part of projecting Jesus' love in ourselves to those around us. By having Him create a change in our hearts it follows that naturally our behaviour will change.

There is a joy in seeing people grow and develop and it is also a joy to experience that change in myself as I seek to be guided by His rules of how I see other people and not be blinded and bound by my own past opinions.