NO HOT WATER AND FORGIVENESS
The other morning I woke up and I was super impressed with my teenage daughter; she was already up! Wow. It was 5:00 on the dot when I heard the water running upstairs. As I walked past the stairs, however, I noticed that no lights were on upstairs.
“That’s odd,” I thought. I ran up the stairs to find all the lights out with the hot-water faucet turned full blast. Immediately, I realized that my son Jacob who is deaf must have washed his face without his cochlear implant on and then left the bathroom with the water running the night before. Since he couldn’t hear the water running, he didn’t realize it was still running when he walked out of the bathroom last night. I felt the water. It was ice-cold. I knew none of us would have hot showers on this particular morning.
I wondered how I would break the news to everyone. Mostly, I prayed that my husband and my teenage daughter would be kind to Jacob about this. I knew Jacob would feel bad, and I didn’t want him to start his day with guilt and condemnation and then walk around with that as his focus while at school. I went into the kitchen to make coffee and pray. I asked the Lord to please soften the cold water for our skin, but most of all, I asked the Lord to soften all of our hearts towards Jacob.
When Jacob was 10-months-old, we were told that he was profoundly deaf. Immediately, I realized that the only sound Jacob could hear was the sound our facial expressions made to his heart. I began to focus on my facial expressions. I wanted Jacob to “hear” love from my face. I wanted him to hear “grace, love, fun, humor, lightness, hope, and perseverance.” I didn’t want him to only hear the sadness I felt with the news of deafness.
I also knew that whatever his heart heard upon my face, he would formulate ideas about his worth. I knew that kids take everything personally. They think it’s their fault if there is stress in the home because they are kids. They are self-centered simply because they are kids. They have a hard time seeing past themselves – especially at 10-months-old and then beyond into the teen years.
I was reminded of our long journey on this particular morning. I was reminded that Jacob would wake up and “hear” either guilt and condemnation from our faces or he would “hear” forgiveness and grace. I prayed earnestly that the song that Jacob heard from our eyes was a beautiful one. And, I’ll let you know, my heart did break a little. I did grieve deafness for a moment on this particular morning, but I choose God’s grace for my heart too. I entrusted the difficulty to God, and then I woke up my family.
I wrote a note on Jacob’s dry-erase board that he keeps in his room. Jacob does not sleep with his cochlear implant on so he can’t hear when he first wakes up.
First, I wrote, “We are out of hot-water.” This was not a new concept. We recently moved out of a rental home that often left us without hot-water. But, now we were in the grace-house that God provided for us, and we always had enough hot water. Thank You, God!
Jacob sat up in bed and said, “What? How do we not have hot-water?”
To which I wrote, “We’ll just take birdbaths or something; it’s no big deal, but you accidentally left the hot water running last night.” I smiled and ruffled his hair.
His face sunk a little, “Oh man, I’m so sorry, Mom. Gosh.”
“No worries, son,” I wrote. “It will be okay; we’ll work it out. We’ve been through worse than cold showers in our life” I wrote on the dry-erase board.
To which Jacob replied with a small grin, “Yes, that’s true. Gosh.”
Fortunately, my husband, Brian, and my teenage daughter, Faith, were kind. I never even had to say, “Hey, and be nice about it!” That makes me laugh a little. Thankfully, I didn’t have to command everyone to be nice. I simply asked God to soften the coldness of the water upon our skin as well as soften the potential coldness of our faces. And God, – well, He’s big enough to handle such monumental tasks – even at 5:15 am on a school-day-morning with cold showers awaiting us. Praise Him!
1Co 4:20For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
1Co 4:21What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?
May all of our faces today emit “sounds” of love because we know that the hearts of those around us hear more from us than their ears ever will.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.