Sometimes – ok, a lot recently – I find myself telling my girls, “Just ignore it!” The “it” of course being all the annoying behavior that their brother seems to heap on them when he is in one of his moods. He is after all the only boy (other than his Daddy) in a house FULL of females. And he IS the top middle big which means he’s not the big and he’s not a little really so he’s just kind of there – in the middle – as the only boy. He has to make his mark somehow. And if there is one thing Top Middle Big is, it is determined. He WILL make his mark. If body parts must be sacrificed to make it, so be it.
So for the sake of peace in my home and to prevent all the neighborhood dogs from howling when the girls’ protestations reach that fevered high decibel, extremely high octave pitch, I tell them to ignore “it.”
Ignore. I’m not saying “deny that he is there at all.” You can stare at him blankly. You can give him a stink eye that would make your momma proud. But don’t let him get to you. Don’t react violently (they DO have a temper) or lash out or shout or come to me and make me wish I could stab myself in the ears. Just ignore the behavior. Pretend it’s not happening. Go to another room. Please, oh please! Walk away.
I love words so I have been trying to find another word that would express what I want them to do. Something new because “ignore” isn’t working. How about disregard? We hear it in TV courtroom dramas all the time. “The jury will disregard that statement.” But what is it to “disregard” something?
Wipe it clean. It never happened; you never heard it; rewind and record over that last bit. I don’t want my girls to disregard their brother! He’s here. We love him. He makes us laugh and he is incredibly helpful and kind 99.9% of the time. Our family would be all wrong without him. He’s a permanent fixture so no, I don’t want to use disregard.
But of course my brain took a left turn at the laundry basket and I started to think about a spiritual disregard. Oh, I know many people who will “ignore” God’s word and instruction. They acknowledge that it’s there and they pick and choose which parts they want to follow, use, believe and obey. They even acknowledge God and might even pray from time to time.
But what about those who disregard Him entirely? How completely empty must that be? What about those who feel disregarded by Him?
Another screaming left turn. And this makes my heart happy!
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me and the Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands. Your walls are continually before me.
I am currently nursing a six month old (not right this instant mind you!) and I can tell you right now, forgetting her is not happening. Ever. Not only will my own body remind me that she needs me, but when that hunger alert alarm goes off, even the Bigs are bringing her to me and finding somewhere else to be. She is DEMANDING!
And when she is in any kind of pain, that cry will bring me to my knees beside her crib. Would I ever be able to forget her or not have compassion for her? Absolutely not! And yet right here we see that God is even more faithful than that!
How many times have I warned my children not to write on their own bodies with markers, crayons, pens, or any other implement they can get their hands on? “It will not just wash off – you will have to wear it off. So if you want to walk around with your face looking like an orange cat you go ahead and stay that course but I’m pretty sure you are going to look pretty funny at school tomorrow!”
God has CARVED us into His hands. How often do you use your hands? Look at your hands? Wash your hands? Imagine if there was something tattooed on the palm of your hand. Everyone who you ever waved to, shook hands with, or high-fived would see that tatoo. They would know that whoever’s name, image, or memorial was on your hand was probably the single most important thing to you.
Thank you that You have me forever in Your hand. Thank you that I will be ignored and forgotten by this world sometimes but I will never be disregarded by You. Thank you for tattooing me on your hands.