What Are You Hearing ?
At the end of the normal training on this evening, Trey would be presented with his orange belt in tai kwan do.
The instructor ran them through their warm ups as always, then into the kicking drills.
For the first time since he enrolled Trey was not only going to do his kicking, he was going to hold the big pads that his fellow students would kick.
It was a small symbol to his peers that he was climbing up the martial arts ranks.
The problem arose when it was evident that his bigger, weightier classmates were overpowering him and the instructor came to help and gently chuckled as Trey handed him back the pads.
The class ended and the big moment arrived, the reception of the next level of belts.
The instructor was effusive in his praise of the three graduates, pronouncing that it was possibly the best orange belt testing in school history.
How proud I was as he announced the grades and spoke so highly of my beloved little man.
Trey dropped his yellow belt to the floor and, on cue, snapped open the orange belt which was then ceremoniously tied around his waist with a respectful bow from his instructor.
When we got in my truck to leave, it was soon evident that my son wasn’t happy.
He was embarrassed about the kicking drill and upset that people had chuckled at his attempt to hold the pads.
He is smaller and lighter than many his age and gets teased at school…and he felt like the mockery had transferred to this place as well.
I listened…then asked him if he had heard the high praise spoken over him as he received his belt.
He guessed he had…but it didn’t matter.
He only heard in his heart what past experience and pain allowed him to receive.
He allowed a little negative log to dam a river of positive feedback.
He gave away the joy that was rightfully his.
As his father, I wept over him and for him as he slept that night.
For many of us, I believe another Father weeps as well.
We can no longer hear His words of love and affirmation, no longer see good in His hand of providence.
We are suspicious of our classmates and disappointed in our Instructor.
We are willing to weep with those who weep, but secretly wish that those rejoicing would go elsewhere.
What little joy we have comes from sharing our misery…and that is a very small joy,indeed.
Sometimes, I write for myself as well as others.
My boy and I are a lot alike.
Make your own application….