What is it about stories that draws us in? Something about them captivates us.
Jesus himself told so many stories in the Bible to convey messages, so last summer at the pool, I decided to do the same with my seven-year-old daughter.
But I shared a story of my own imperfection. At times, I can be hesitant to reveal my shortcomings to my children, thinking I might derail them if they see my cracks and rust. But that day at the pool, I tasted the sweetness in being vulnerable with my daughter.
It all started when she climbed out of the pool and stomped over to me. She curled up on the lounge chair and buried her head in it. When I asked what was wrong … silence. After some time, my daughter told me her friend acted rude.
It’s a difficult thing to forgive imperfections in others, even when we are full of them.
My daughter’s friend walked over to us and I initiated a forgiveness conversation between them. They each shared why they were hurt and forgave one another. My daughter’s friend jumped back into the pool, but my daughter retreated to her same position on the lounge chair, pride and anger covering her.
I avoided a lecture and instead shared a story of my own imperfection as a little girl:
My best friend and I had played a game of tetherball and I was stubbornly convinced I won. She thought I played unfairly and wanted to replay the game. I didn’t give in. My friend said if I didn’t apologize and replay it, she didn’t want to be friends. I held that ball tight and made my choice. That day I chose pride and lost my best friend.
I told my daughter that I put the need to be right before my friend, and I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had shown grace, said I was sorry, and moved on. Before another word left my mouth, my daughter sprang up and jumped into the pool, joining her friend. Their giggles stretched a mile away.