October 1, 2021

Rhonda Patterson
“All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.”
1 John 3:24

Way back in my first year of coaching elementary PE, we had 5th graders suit out in uniforms of a t-shirt and shorts for class. A particular girl was always dressed in “goth style” clothing – well as goth as a 5th grader can dress. Without fail, she’d craftily avoid suiting out for PE with a myriad of excuses, “I forgot my uniform,” “my mom’s washing it,” “the dog ate it,”…and so on. I was, of course, not fooled and outraged at her continual defiance; I was determined to reign in her rebellion. So one day, I checked her locker prior to class, and of course, there was her uniform. I thought to myself, “I’ve got her now!” So, as usual, she came into class, stringy hair in her eyes, and pulled an excuse from her bag of tricks. I proudly presented her the uniform I’d found in her locker and, with great delight, awaited to see her “caught in the act” expression. To my shock, she looked at me with horror in tear-filled eyes and desperately uttered, “But I don’t want anyone to see my legs! I have ugly legs!” I stood there in stunned silence, realizing that I’d been so focused on this child’s rebellion that I’d failed to actually see her pain and see her with God’s eyes of love. I hugged her, and we came up with a great compromise. I learned so much from that experience. Moving forward in my following years of coaching, I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me and help me to see each child from His vantage point. The abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives will always lead us in the way of love.