Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Lesson In Forgiveness

I coach a soccer team of children ages 3-5 at our local YMCA. I love it. I have been known to compare it to herding cats. The kids all tend to gather in one large group and move around the field. Since it is the first time that some of the children have ever played a team sport, some of them are scared and nervous about getting out on the field. It is a joy to watch them finally get the courage to step on the field. It is a joy to watch them as they first start kicking the ball. It is a joy to watch the excitement of a child when they get their first goal.

Last night I had a parent approach me after the game and begin to yell at me in front of all the parents and children, but most importantly, he yelled at me in front of my own children. I was shocked by his anger. I was shocked by his words.

He was upset that his child only played one quarter. I tried to explain to him that there are several children and I try my best to give them all equal time. The man continued to yell at me so I just let him finish until he walked away.

After the field cleared and families began to leave, I cried.

After my husband was done coaching his game, we all loaded up in the van and I broke down crying again. I told him what happened and he stated that he was going to call the parent. I probably should mention that my husband is the CEO of our local YMCA. 

I asked him not to call him. I know that my husband was just being my protector, and I love him for that. But I didn't want satan to win.

You see, if I would have yelled back at this parent in front of the other parents, children and my own children, I would not have been a good example of God's love.

That parent may have just been having a bad day. We don't know what is currently going on in his life. What saddened me is that his son was there watching his behavior. He was watching how his father treated a woman who was just volunteering to coach soccer.

The lesson in all of this was for my children. They did not see me yell back. My husband and I talked to them about it. We told them that we are to forgive him for his behavior. We told them that we are not to react in a way that would not bring glory to God.

Last night as my husband was saying prayers with our children before bed, they said that they forgive that man for being mean to their mom. Last night when I prayed, I forgave that man for yelling at me. I also prayed that through this incident that man's life will be changed. I prayed for his son. I prayed that God glory will shine through.

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