Dear Mom of Two Young Boys at the Movie Theater,
I want you to know that I saw you today. I’m not saying that because you got up with your two little ones three times before the movie even began or because your children were loud. They were not loud, just normal and excited. I am not saying that I saw you because you stood up to help them sit safely in those seats that constantly fold up and sit too low for young eyes to even view the screen. It was not because you and your young crew were gone for ten minutes at a time when you did leave the theater and found different seats when you returned. I SAW you.
I don’t know why you came by yourself with those adorable and active boys to a two-hour movie. Maybe your husband works long hours and it has been a challenging week handling it all yourself. Maybe you are a single mom and after a tough week of work you wanted to treat your boys to a matinee, a true treat for everyone and a luxury in which you don’t often indulge. Perhaps it was an escape from the mountain of laundry and the sea of duplo blocks, matchbox cars and goldfish crumbs that you just could not pick up one more time today.
I want you to know that while you were juggling these active boys, gently quieting their adorable commentary, accommodating their frequent need to move seats and the seemingly constant need to go potty, I heard love in your voice. When others might have thrown in the towel after the third time the popcorn bag fell and just left altogether after the second trek to the restroom, you helped your boys find seats that suited them better for that moment and taught them to hold their popcorn bags tightly. When many, myself included, might have lost it completely and said things that would make them feel like terrible mothers later, you spoke in soothing tones and helped distract them with funny parts of the movie, explaining quietly what they didn’t understand.
When the movie was over, it was easy to spot you in the theater lobby. Unlike other moms in a hurry to leave, mentally back to the list of tasks to complete before bedtime, you stuck around. Your inquisitive boys wanted to check out the motorcycle video game and you patiently placed them on the seat and helped them pretend they were winning the race. As you and your boys walked hand-in-hand outside, their smiles were just as bright as the cloudless sky. The fascinating thing is, so was yours.
A few years ago, a friend described a lady she had just met. Her characterization has rung in my ears since. “You could see Jesus on her face!” Mom of Two Young Boys at the Movie Theater, I saw your incredible love for them. I probably would have chucked the popcorn and given “mean Mommy” looks when they popped out of their seats AGAIN. You showed them such patience that I found myself looking at my boy just a little sweeter. I might have made them do the pee-pee dance before going yet another time, but not you. Your gentle ways were inspiring. You were meek and your even-tempered spirit helped your boys truly enjoy their afternoon out. Those toe-headed cuties seemed to bring you genuine joy and peace and I admired your dedication to them. You demonstrated what a good mother looks like when everything is not so perfect. I say that I saw you and that is because even in the darkness of a cold movie theater, the light of the Holy Spirit was bright and I saw your heart. In countless ways, I saw Jesus on your face and from one mom to another, I know that on a day like today, that was not easy.
Thankful for the lesson,
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!