Friday, December 11, 2009

Who Ya Gonna Reflect: Jesus or the IRS?

Several weeks ago I felt called to increase my devotion to the Chaplet of Devine Mercy. I’ve been playing my CD in the afternoons as the boy and I go about our daily tasks. We haven’t stopped to pray it so much as have the prayer sung as the backdrop to our lives.

These last few days I believe I’ve come to understand this prompting of the Holy Spirit to draw closer to this devotion.

As Christmas Eve approaches, and along with it the second anniversary of the attack against our son that changed his life forever, an attack so violent it landed our son in the hospital for a week and his birth father in prison for several years, his behavior has been a bit challenging. He’s been acting out and we’ve seen some regression in areas that had been going well. Bottom line as anyone who’s every had a child that’s acting out can attest, it’s a pain in the backside to set boundaries, and keep them intact as a kid continues to push up against them in various and often sneaky ways. We all have an extra year under our collective belts as a family and that it helping, but I’m also leaning heavily on the message of Devine Mercy.

As we are meting out consequences for his behavior, I have worked very hard at tempering those consequences with a heavy dose of mercy. I’ve worked very hard at collecting myself and containing my anger as I discover his transgressions, prior to even discussing the matter with him or my husband. I’ve reminded myself often of the unmerited mercy I’ve received and it’s a big help in shaping my interactions with our son.

Believe me, this is not in any way the same thing as going soft and simply ignoring or condoning bad behavior. I think of it as having steel fences in place, covered over in a soft foam cushion, wrapped in a warm fluffily fleece. The fence (behavior boundary) is still intact, but the bumping up against it is tempered with love.

In the end it seams to me the question in dealing with this erring child really is:

Who Ya Gonna Reflect: Jesus or the IRS?

For the sake of His sorrowful passion; have mercy on us and on the whole world.

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