Why, oh why, do our loved ones get the worst of us? That friendly smile we offered to the check-out clerk…gone when we arrive home. An enthusiastic “hello” to an acquaintance we haven’t seen in years. A fellow shopper drops packages and we hurry to assist, but do we extend the same courtesy to our loved ones by helping to carry heavy shopping bags or groceries?
There are times when we extend more grace to complete stranger than we do to our families.
At the end of the day when we return home, no hug, just a gruff “hello” as we walk in the door. We loose our tempers…spew unkind words… and give curt, trite answers. We disappear into our own agendas, desires, hobbies while our families sit by waiting for our time…attention…presence.
Several years ago my husband was driving myself and our children home from a family Christmas party. Snow showers poured from heaven as the wind blew drifts of snow over already white roads. He drove at a snails pace over slippery roads. A car pulled onto the road ahead of us and was carefully and slowly traveling along before us when out of the blue the car slipped off the road into the ditch and landed on its top. My husband immediately pulled into the next available driveway to help the driver. My heart was racing as I dialed 911; I feared the driver was badly hurt.
Happily a few minutes later my husband returned with a young man about seventeen years of age ( perfectly fine)–he had been driving home from basketball practice. We had him get in our van (out of the cold) and phone his parents. He was a real nice kid, hadn’t done anything wrong, just hadn’t had any practice driving in the snow.
His father arrived about twenty minutes later–unconcerned about his son’s safety–but very concerned about whether his son had done something wrong to cause the accident. We assured him that his son had been driving slowly and carefully. He questioned us about three times, even going so far as to ask us if we were sure he hadn’t been driving recklessly.
I couldn’t help but feel sorry for that young man as we were driving home. It seemed to have escaped his father that his son could have been seriously hurt.
Why, oh why, do we hurt the ones we love? If you would like to share your thoughts on why we often give the ones we love our worst I would welcome your comments.