Internet Cafe

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Brotherly Love

Please Welcome Melissa Hill to the Internet Cafe!

A few days ago, Tee and Graham were arguing and generally producing mayhem in the car and had been told to "simmer down" more than one million times. Although I firmly believe in first time obedience, my children are still up in the air on the issue.

Something, unseen by me, escalated the situation and both were told they would receive a consequence when we got home. Translate, S.P.A.N.K.I.N.G.

Enter weeping and gnashing of teeth.

When we got home, Trey took both boys upstairs to give them each four spankings.

He had them explain to him exactly what happened and during the explanation, Tee confessed that it actually wasn't Graham's fault, but his own and Graham really didn't deserve to get a spanking.

Let me pause this story to say that this is a rare, rare occurrence in our home. Our children are of the age and predominate heart condition that there is always someone else to blame. As I reread that, I think it matters less about the age and more about the predominate heart condition because I find myself doing the exact same thing much of the time. Needless to say, pigs flew, Hell froze over, and I ate vanilla ice cream without hot fudge sauce.

Trey was so surprised he almost fell out of his shoes. Tee stuck up for his bro' and threw himself under the bus in the process. As Trey was picking himself up off the floor and excusing Graham from his consequence, Graham asked if, instead, he could take Tee's spankings for him.

Say wha'?

"Daddy, can get a spanking instead of Tee?"

Note to self, when I'm cast opposite Brad Pitt in his next blockbuster and I need to cry on command, remember that moment. Check.

Trey was dumbfounded and conflicted for a minute. Tee was obviously as conflicted because he was nodding his head but saying "No way, Graham!" at the same time.

In the wisdom that attracted him to me in the first place, Trey decided to let Graham take half of Tee's punishment for him. He felt that, although it wasn't fair, it was right. He needed to honor his son's prompting to love someone greater than himself, and to be willing to suffer in his place. He needed his other son to see how much he is loved and how, when he defends the cause of the innocent, mercy abounds.

It gave us a teachable moment where we could talk more about the perfectly innocent Son who took on not half but all of our consequence so that we could have life with the Father. Each boy received two spankings but loved and respected each other more when they left the room than when they had come in. Through the process of sin and consequence, they saw an aspect of the Father's love in one another they had not seen in the backseat of the car. And we were giving a gift as parents we won't soon forget.

Thank you, Lord, that you were pierced for our transgressions, you were crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought our peace was on you; and by your wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

Melissa is a stay at home mom to four biological children and two (unofficial) foster teenage boys. Her husband runs an inner city ministry in Dallas that primarily serves the children of the urban poor. Jesus became man and moved into our neighborhood and they felt called to follow suit. Five years ago, they left their pretty comfortable, predominantly white neighborhood and moved into the community, the ghetto, the hood, the place you most likely avoid when driving through that fair city; and they love it. Seriously, love it.

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Blogger Denise said...

This was a wonderful post, bless you.

March 21, 2009 at 12:22 AM  
Blogger you gotta wonder said...

A very inspiring story. Thank you for sharing!

March 21, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks!

March 22, 2009 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Pam D said...

What an amazing post! Truly, loving their brother more than themselves... in a very tangible way. I KNOW you had tears in your eyes..that's one of those moments that makes it all worthwhile. Thanks so much for putting out there for the rest of us to see!

March 22, 2009 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

What a beautiful story and picture of Christ's love for us. He preferred us above Himself. Amazing grace!

March 22, 2009 at 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Hurley said...

That's a great moment and a great story Melissa! The Hurleys are very encouraged by the Hill family!

March 23, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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