It has been one year and I can confidently say personal life and online space has been drama free. At school, at work, at play…no problems. With friends, no problems. None of these interactions have suggested I’m a liar, none describe me as abusive. None have indicated a need for protection.
To the adult bully, I can’t say the same for you. Most of our days involve zero connection to the happenings of your life. That has been incredibly healing. But some things have come into my consciousness…even though I don’t go looking for them. You have lost a friend and I’m not sure how you explain it yet again. You have attacked in your online activity then blocked, yet again. Why does this continue happening? It is true, I don’t have your side of the story…perhaps these people deserved it.
To the adult bully, this is projection. It comes as no surprise.
To the adult bully, I now feel sadness for you because you don’t understand grace.
To the adult bully, this wasn’t sent to me. Different people, same hateful story in an altogether different setting. (Excerpt)
To the adult bully, this method of communicating is not okay. It would never be permitted in a workplace so why is it okay here? You should consider your online activity the same. The person on the receiving end does not deserve to be dehumanized in such a manner. Your justification for doing so is false.
The children in this mess are undoubtedly both hurting. One hurting because they want unkindness to stop. The other hurting because they’ve learned reacting from their discomfort with hate is justified. It is not. To the adult bully, as long as you justify hate, your child will too.
To the adult bully, it is our job to teach them grace. That means patience, forgiveness and compassion. That means seeing others as an extension of ourselves, that we have shortcomings in all of us.
To the adult bully, you are not hurting because your child was wronged. Children wrong each other every single day, they make bad choices, they forgive and are forgiven. They learn better choices and that tomorrow is a new day. You don’t allow for this fact.
To the adult bully, you continue hurting because you do not know grace, a pattern that persists without it. To the adult bully, 2 Timothy 3 is harsh but necessary in order to stand with grace. The boundaries you encounter are from this truth. They are Christlike, not because others are out to wrong you.
To the adult bully, we are all offered the same grace. You can choose it too, just as Christ has done for us.
To the adult bully, I do not know you but I know your son. When I first met Daniel he would not participate with our class. He would not sit by me or listen. He sat in the corner by himself and he was angry. Those who don’t know Daniel might be tempted to ask, is he the bully at school or is he the bullied? I can tell you he has been both. I do not care that he has been both, I care that he has fresh starts, even if it is every single day.
Earlier last week Daniel could not control his anger. On their way back from gym he grabbed his classmate by the arm, angry because they were telling him he couldn’t be included in their group. After grabbing him, the classmate would not stop directing him. Daniel came in to the classroom, broke a pencil in the classmates face. Before any disciplinary action, fighting back tears he went behind my desk to be alone. He knew the discipline would come. Yes, it must be done but I was more concerned about his heart.
I sat with him on the floor and just listened. I couldn’t sit there the rest of the afternoon but our class quietly worked on their writing so I could sit with him for a short while. In that small window of time, Daniel said he felt hopeless. Bad things keep happening at home and now bad things at this school too. Bad things at his last school. The more he gets angry, the more problems occur and then… more anger. The less attention he gets, the more problems occur and then, more anger. The cycle just continues. He just needs love. I hope he is getting love at home but for whatever reason he does not describe it this way.
I do not care if Daniel was the bully this afternoon or if he was the bullied. I do not care if his classmate was the bully or the bullied. They have done both to each other, one bad choice does not make more bad choices right. Tomorrow is a new day. They know this at school.
To the adult bully, this is our moment to show them grace. Nothing else. Not revenge, not justification, not entitlement and certainly not more bullying.
If you remember my first encounter with Daniel he would not participate in class. The next day I reminded them both it was a new day. Daniel came to the front of the class and sat next to me on the carpet during morning meeting. He even shared good news! When the class was done with their turns of course they ask me to share mine. I looked at Daniel and told him my good news is that he joined me today and that I was really happy to see him smiling. His face lit up. That day he also helped his classmate fix a problem and he made sure he didn’t miss reading with me.
To the adult bully, there is a better way. Small acts of grace lead to great love. Even the smallest ones make all the difference.
Seeing ones like this at school heals my heart. That is love, that is Christ.
It’s going to be a great week. ❤️
Loved By Grace,