Learning compassion in the supermarket parking lot

Something happened in the Publix parking lot. Something that changed my heart and the heart of my three-year-old son. 

Yesterday when we were leaving the supermarket Ryals pointed to a person who was different and innocently commented on that person's differences. I was mortified.

The person didn't hear us, thankfully! But I raced Ryals to the car and explained to him that he can ALWAYS ask me any question he wants and I will ALWAYS tell him the truth, but it needs to be in private. 

I explained to him that he was not in trouble but that everyone is different, that God created all of us and He loves us and it's our job to love others, be kind and share the joy in our hearts.

I explained to him that it is not nice to point out other people's differences in a way that is hurtful and that the words he used were hurtful. 

By the time I was finished Ryals had tears in his eyes and said, "I want to tell him I'm sorry."

We did not go back inside and find the man, I told him instead to remember how sad he felt at the thought of hurting someone's feelings and not to do it again. 

I thought about my own words, the things I say in passing, the thoughts I have about others. 

I prayed out loud and asked God to forgive me for the words I use and the things I say and I prayed that Ryals would remember to be kind. 

I was grateful for this teaching moment. I was grateful that I had the words to say to my son and I was grateful that his little heart and mind understood. 

So mamas, if you think your children aren't listening, if you think your prayers aren't being heard when you ask God to direct your children or direct you in motherhood they are. 

Keep praying. Keep teaching. Keep mothering. 

What about you? Have you ever found a teaching in an unexpected place?