showing love to the one who hurt

I was taking some random "candid" pics of my girls just playing in their playroom yesterday,
and they sure were being cute together....
what happened right after these pictures were taken, is why I am writing today.

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see Abigail checking out what Baby is doing in that picture above?
well, immediately after I snapped this, Abigail leaned in and was  trying to "help" Bethany chew on her toy, 
but pushed a little too hard.
Bethany knocked over backwards pretty hard onto the floor, i heard her little head hit.
(ugh, worst sound ever.)
don't, worry she's ok, just a little distraction and some comfort nursing for her to forget all about it.

obviously, there was lots of crying from little B.
But Abigail cried the hardest.

She knew she had hurt her sister. She knew that Bethany was screaming because of something she had done.  
Her sweet eyes said it all. She was so sorry and so sad.

My heart was obviously breaking for Bethany trying to make sure she was ok physically.
But my heart broke even more for Abigail.
She knew she had hurt Bethany and was feeling the shame and sadness of it.

- - - - - - - - - -

then I had a flashback to my own childhood, and to a situation that marked me forever.
bare with me here...

We were in the parking lot of our community swimming pool.
As my brother and I were getting out of the car,
somehow I accidentally shut his fingers in the car door.
oh man, I will never forget it. He was screaming from the pain.
My mom took him and held him and tried to make sure he was okay.
(he was.)

I remember crying uncontrollably myself, 
because I felt so incredibly bad for doing this to my big brother. 
I had hurt him on accident and I did not know what to do.

Then literally out of nowhere, a woman showed up at our car.
Like she just appeared in the parking lot.
I remember my mom called her "good samaritan" for years. Our little angel.
Not only did she magically appear and get ice for my brother's hand,
but she comforted me.
She told me it was okay.
She assured me that it was just an accident and that I would be okay too.
Then she helped comfort my brother so my mom could comfort me.

- - - - - - - - - -

the point of sharing that story with you is this:
sometimes the person who DID the wrong needs just as much comfort and grace as the person who was wronged, 
even if (especially if) it was unintentional.

woah. I could write a lot on this topic I think, and could spend lots of time in prayer about it.
I know there's a lot the lord wants us to learn about loving the person who has offended us or hurt us.
I think there are SO many different avenues I could take this topic, that would speak to lots of areas in our hearts.
I could talk about loving the offender, giving grace, helping wounds heal, forgiveness, repentance...
a whole lot of things.

But for now, for right now,
I guess I just simply want to remind myself and you,
of the importance of loving on people when they make mistakes.
That their hearts are most likely hurting too.
That though their head may have not hit the floor physically,
their heart fell.

- - - - - - - - - -

While I was comforting Bethany, making sure she was indeed ok,
I was also doing my best to comfort Abigail.
She clearly needed it,
She needed to know that I forgave her, that baby forgave her, and that baby would be ok.

About 10 minutes after everyone was finally calm,
totally of her own accord,
Abigail went over to Bethany and said
"I'm sorry baby, I'm sorry that I hurt your head."

I gave her a moment on her own, then went over and reassured her that Bethany was not mad at her, that I was not mad at her, 
and that she was forgiven.
I could literally see the burden of shame lift off of my 2 year old daughter.
It had been very real.

I am thankful for my own "good samaritan" story, and that in this moment of motherhood,
I could remember how important it was to be comforted myself.

- - - - - - - - - -

I'm not sure if my heart came across how I wanted it to here, but I just needed to share it.
I hope it made sense.

And my hope is that we will remember to love on those who hurt us,
and give comfort in ALL the places where it is needed.