“I miss my mommy!” She snuggled up to me to me on a bench at the pre-K playground.
“I put my arm around her as I empathized with her, “I understand you miss your mommy.”
“My Grandma came for lunch today,” she shared.
“Good, I’m glad you got to have lunch with your grandma.” I had an assignment as a substitute teacher at pre-K for the day. They invited the parents or grandparents to come have lunch with the children.
“I want to go home now. I miss my mommy.” She shared in a plaintive voice as she leaned her head against my shoulder.
“I understand. Well after recess you will have lunch. Then you will have naptime and a little while after that you’ll be able to go home.”
She began counting on her fingers the time and all the things that they had to do before she went home. “That’s a long time before I can go home,”she protested.
“I understand It seems like a long time but it will go fast.”
She was not so easily placated. She continued to whine about it and complain about how much she wanted to see her mommy. I simply sat there and listened to her and kept my arm around her. I didn’t see any sense in trying to persuade her or console her further. I simply let her whine and complain about it. I wasn’t annoyed because I empathize with her and understood that she wanted to be at home with her mommy. Little girls that age need to be with their mommies.
As I reflected on this incident, I realize this is the way God is with us. He is more than willing to lovingly listen to us whine and complain about the way things are versus the way we want them. He knows that everything is not right and in order with the way he meant things to be. He can’t really change it either but he will sit and listen to us pour out our heart of complaint and sorrow to him.
He does not tell us to shut up or to stop being so dramatic or to get over it or to be a big girl. He doesn’t tell us we’re not being positive or being a victim or scold us. He knows we need to process our feelings. He understands the difference between a hard heart who complains continually and a hurt child who has legitimate longings. He simply listens with his comforting arms around us.
You can pour out your complaint to the Lord. You can pour out your heart to him. He will let you process your feelings and complaints without judgement or condemnation. He understands.
“I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. Psalm 142:2