Hearing the Pain of Brokenness

In her book, Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers, Leslie Leyland Fields writes about our need to enter into the sufferings of others. . . sufferings that we may never have experienced ourselves and therefore have little ability to understand. In effect, it’s about taking the time to listen to the other person’s story, to show them grace, and to forgive them for acting out of their pain in ways that just might be hurting us. Yes, Fields is writing about doing this with our parents. But I think her challenge is also one that we need to hear and heed in our churches, schools, and neighborhoods with those kids whose brokenness leads to the types of disruptive behavior that make waves in the neat and easy little worlds for which we yearn. What would happen if we would pray for hearts that are sensitive to the most broken of kids and their sufferings? No, we don’t want to excuse or write off immoral or bad behavior. But we do want to love the disruptive kids as Christ loves them.