Well, well, well. Something unfortunate happened this weekend and not surprisingly, all the lil internetters are out with their virtual rage and word torches, ready to light some poor mom on fire because guess what? Something happened to her that has never ever happened to any responsible or worthy parent ever before in the history of all the world: an accident involving her toddler.
If you are a parent with even a shred of honesty, you know damn well that sometimes kids do things they’re not supposed to. And it’s not because they’re “horrible little brats”. It’s because that’s the nature of being a child. You test limits. You learn the hard way. You pick your nose at your big sister’s first holy communion and you eat that ripe little thing like its a Concord grape. Right in front of the priest.
Yes, even you, Most Enlightened Human Ever To Exist. You tested limits too.
And picked your nose. And maybe, just maybe, you did something pretty damn scary that gave your parents a heart attack.
But of course, OF COURSE, we have SOOOO MANY parenting experts out there. Oh, you didn’t know that the lady who arranges play dates for her beloved pet cat was a parenting expert?? Well, sit the hell down, moms and dads. Cat Mommy KNOWS HOW TO PARENT BETTER THAN YOU! Your dispicable kids should be sitting on the floor purring and carrassing a ball of yarn just like dainty little kittens!!! IT’S NOT THAT DIFFICULT.
Didn’t you know your child isn’t supposed to explore, escape, disobey, scream, cry, smile, eat, or so much as breathe without you pressing the control button?! WELL THEY’RE NOT. You’re not just a parent, you’re a CONTROLLER, and children were made to be controlled like little robots, no?
Nope, sorry. That’s not what children were made for. I know it feels that way when they’re strapped to our bodies in those fancy little baby carriers, but kids can’t always be controlled – nor should they always be. They’re people, not puppets. And sometimes they get themselves into really awful situations. Haven’t you ever seen that famous bumper sticker? Shit happens, baby.
And who are all of these people with their Dead Gorilla Mind Reader memes?
And people who are saying “THE GORILLA WASN’T TRYING TO HURT HIM! He was PROTECTING HIM!”
Really? SO MANY RANGER RICKS WE HAVE HERE! So many life learners who have suddenly graduated at the top of their class from the Institute of Zoboomafoo!! Highly skilled Instant Zoologists who are able to read the intentions of a silverback gorilla with a single glance! Evaluating the mindset of both intellectual gorilla and shitty human mother by guessing and assuming.
You know, the same way real experts do.
“The gorilla was simply guiding the little boy through the waters and giving him a bath so that he could snuggle him afterward and read him a story!”
“That damn mother is a f@cking scumbag of an excuse for a human being and should be investigated by CPS and put in a cage and shot and dragged and rot in hell!”
“That glorious and majestically beautiful gorilla’s life is just as worthy and precious as the life of that deceitful horrible human thing!!”
Let me tell you something.
Please, please, PLEASE do not make one single complaint about how we wound up with crazy ass Donald Trump as a presidential nominee if you are one of the many, many Americans who shame and blame and ridicule and crucify virtual strangers on a daily basis whenever another sensational story sets off your outrage addiction. Don’t blame it on one party or one demographic. PLEASE. PEOPLE, YOU GET WHO YOU DESERVE, and when you choose the life of a friggin gorilla over the life of a human being – an innocent toddler -when you say things like “they should have shot the kid”, when you call that baby a “spoiled little brat” or rage about “the despicable human species”( when, what are you, a damn seahorse?!) THEN YOU DESERVE AN APE FOR A PRESIDENT. You truly do.
You know what we need here? We need some Jesus.
Because what we see throughout the awful blaming rage in the comboxes is a glimpse of hell. That’s exactly what it is.
It says in scripture that satan is “the accuser.” And what does an accuser do? He condemns, he shames, he blames, threatens, ridicules, mocks, bullies. He reminds you of all your past mistakes. He reads into your every intention and accuses you of wrong at every turn. He lies in wait for you like the predator he is. He invites you to screw up and then he’s right there to tell you how you did it and how you’ve blown it forever. He makes you want to hide. He makes you afraid. “You’re not this enough. You’re too much of that. If only you had done this or not done that! You’re the worst of all! The worst one!”
Haven’t you ever felt it? Haven’t you ever laid awake at night, feeling the awful panic and guilt of being a mother? And then tried to get up the next day and be a normal human being after a long night of self loathing and worry?
There’s a remedy to that kind of shaming and blaming, and it’s called Mercy.
It’s God reaching out to you and me no matter what we’ve done and saying to us “I still love you. I still want you. You are mine, you are my child and I will never forsake you. Never will I leave you. Nothing you do will ever make me love you less. Come to Me and let’s start over.”
Every single one of us needs compassion and kindness and to be loved beyond our faults and mistakes and failures. We need to be loved even when we’ve reached that point of just plain ugly. Jesus offers us that kind of love. The church offers that kind of love.
And you know, after some of the stuff I’ve read this weekend I’m even more grateful for it than ever. They say that shaming people is something only Christians do. Well, I know sometimes we’re guilty of it. But man, there’s so much more condemnation out there in the land of the “tolerant”.
I don’t think the parents of that little boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure are “the worst of sinners” by any hilarious stretch of the imagination. It was an ACCIDENT, and accidents happen.
And if you’re so young and naive or so horribly unaware and quick to judge that you think your precious little snowflakes will never do anything crazy? Then God help you when the time comes.
I’m not being sarcastic. I actually mean it.
May His mercy be there to catch you when things go awry and your world falls apart. May He bind up your wounds and show you His amazing love when your heart is broken wide open. May you experience His love so intensely that you’ll be able to have empathy and mercy for others. Maybe even to reach out and be Christlike to them.