Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Hidden Feelings Come Out
I was going to Sears to check out something I was interested in but I was a little early so I was sitting in my car waiting for the doors to open. I looked across the lot and saw a young lady get out of her car. She checked out the back seat where her young toddler child was belted in and shut the door leaving her child in the car. She locked the door and proceeded to walk towards the door to Sears.
I was astonished at what had just happend! I felt a responsibility to protect that child who was motherless in the car in a shopping mall parking lot! I quickly called the police to inform them that a child had been abandoned! I was experiencing nerve shattering, exasperation! I wanted her to be taken to jail no matter what else happened that day, I desired judgment to occur – right then!
I am very protective of little children and the times in my life when I have come out of my skin with carefree confrontation of others has always been when I perceived children were being wounded, or neglected. Oh, I have the stories but never saw anyone get the penalty and today I wanted to see that occur.
So I waited, looking all over the lot for a police car to drive up.
About five minutes later this young mother came walking out of the store moving towards her car. Well, I was ready for bear! I got out of my car and moved towards her with intent to harm on my mind. I approached her and out of my mouth came all of those anxious feelings:
What in the HELL!!!! do you think you are doing?
You walked off and left your child unattended in your car!!!!!!
The lady looked at me with eyes wide open, shocked at the intensity that just flew out of my mouth.
She said: “I am so sorry you were afraid”.
I responded, Of course I was afraid! You left your child! That is how kids get stolen, burned alive, abandoned! You should never leave your child like that!
She said, “I am sorry, I won’t do it again”. ”Thank you for caring enough to say something and to be so protective over my child”.
She got in her car and drove off. I was still shaking like a leaf.
That was quite a shocker for me as well! I never expected her to be so rational about what had just happened. When I got away from the situation I saw something really interesting about myself and about what had just happened.
I do a lot of teaching that almost always includes learning how to communicate our feelings in ways that are honest and effective. That day, this young mother called out my deepest feeling, fear. I was expressing deep anger through my overt words but I didn’t know myself what I was really feeling, I was just reacting!
How funny, this mother who is at the other end of a tongue lashing was calm enough to know more of the truth in this situation than I was.
Lady, I feel fearful and anxious about you leaving your child in the car unattended! I feel incensed that you would put your child in harm’s way! I felt protective over your child’s welfare because she was alone and potentially in line for severe danger! I feel confused as to why you would have done that and over how important it was that you left your child in the car to do something in Sears!
I felt embarrased that I had just left my sanity, swore at this young mother shaking her to the core. I also felt some indignation for what had happened because honestly, the lady was careless and did in fact put her child in harms way.
Well, God has His ways of bringing us into teachable moments of life. Fortunately, nothing happened to the child and hopefully the mother won’t ever forget: