Marshall has had some breakthroughs spiritually lately. He decided to forgive the bully after our discussion about her inability to see from his perspective. (She has Asperger’s, too). She couldn’t perceive what he was feeling. He said again today that he’d forgiven her. He wants to write a card that says, “I forgive you and love you.” He’d wanted to kill her a few days ago.
Today Marshall’s one-page devotion talked about Jesus as the bread of life and invited kids to ask Jesus into their hearts. This time Marshall asked, “How do I do that?” instead of telling me to shut up. He said, “I’m bad. I’ve done bad things.” I know Marshall’s heart is good; and the bad things are the spiritual crap loaded onto him from the bully. But every spiritual journey needs to include owning up and letting go.
I told him when I was little that my babysitter said the words and I repeated after her. I tried that with him to show him how he could pray. I said, “Jesus, come into my life. Forgive all my sins and make me clean inside.” He listened.
I said, “When God is able to fill more of you, the bully will have less influence.” He said, “That’s good.”
Yesterday, when he was acting out a drama where the evil character gets the most power, I asked, “What is your power?” He said, “I don’t know. I don’t have any.”
I said, “What about your voice? You can speak the truth.”
He said, “That’s good. Okay,” and zoomed into the play room where he began a loud dialogue.
“Evil is the greatest power!” growled the first voice.
“No, goodness is!” answered a confident Marshall. This is the first time he has tried to fight evil with goodness or its truth. Usually, he wants to kill everyone off.
We are making progress. I know Marshall is in Jesus’ protective gaze, and the angels fight for him, and Mother God embraces him, no matter what he says he believes or doesn’t. Yet when we win a battle, when we have more light, I feel grateful.
We have a copy of The Hobbit lying around, and every time I read another page, I immediately identify with Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves. We are in a dark wood, on a long journey to face down Smaug. Now and then, though, there is a sunshine-filled clearing to rest and drink, or the elves give us a party. And we rejoice with Mother God.