When I am in a state of sadness, the “depths of despair” – I tend to run. I run to my safe place and hide out. It is very difficult for me to shine brighter.
When children are sad or hurt or angry, they too have coping mechanisms. They may be “runners”, “yellers”, “aggressors”, or they may retreat within themselves – quiet and aloof… They don’t know how to shine brighter. How do we help them cope with “sadness” or hurt in their lives?
Sometimes we make the mistake of punishing without understanding. Punishment is different than discipline. Discipline is understanding AND teaching a new way to solve problems. Sometimes we ignore without understanding. Ignoring is a tool that can be used, but when things are calm – it is wise to address the incident and teach. Sometimes we lecture. It is important that we also allow the child to express their thoughts so we understand the triggers for certain behaviors. Sometimes we make the mistake of saying: don’t cry, smile, put your head up, shine brighter… We forget we have to give them the “tools” that will dry the tears, bring a smile, help them think and to shine brighter.
As we advocate for children, we help them to shine brighter. I look at Jesus, at his time of sorrow and sadness. He continued to advocate for His people during a time of despair – “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” After His death on the cross, Jesus was not available for days. No one saw or heard from Him. But on the third day, Jesus rose again in glory – shining brighter. I don’t know what Jesus did during the "silent" time; I just know that upon his return he was ready to use his glory to save people.
Shining brighter during times of sadness or hurt is a difficult road. Shining brighter brings healing and hope to oneself and to others. May you shine brighter today. And if you fail, there is always tomorrow. Shining brighter also means one realizes that no one is perfect, only our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.