When my children squabble, they shout loudly and I tell them they don't need to shout: I can hear them.
When my children squabble, they point out how well they are doing and how evil the others are by comparison.
When my children squabble, they are so convinced of their "rightness" and so aggrieved by my slowness to take their side.
When my children squabble, I see how very young they are, and how very little they understand. Their truths are true, but partial.
When my children squabble, there is anger. There are tears.
When my children squabble, I love them and am for them -- and yet they seem frustrated. I think sometimes they would rather I were a referee than a refuge.
When my children squabble, I see their hearts, their sense of justice, their longing for fairness and understanding. I also see their pride, their caprice.
When my children squabble, I grieve for the hurt they are experiencing and the hurt they are dishing out in their immaturity.
When my children squabble, I remember that they will not always be children -- one day they will see that the issue of who got the blue cup is petty, and that it doesn't matter who sat in the middle seat or who got to stay up later.
When my children squabble, it makes me long for the day when perspective and maturity will allow them to treasure their siblings for the riches that they are.
And from time to time, when I read about Christians fighting AGAIN and calling names AGAIN and behaving badly AGAIN, each citing reasons why God is more on their side than the others', then I wonder:
Is God looking down on us with a sigh and saying: "Look, my children are squabbling"?
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