coat of armor

Imagine you are a human straitjacket for a sturdy boy who is really stronger than you.  Imagine you have to be that human straight-jacket because he wants to give his brother a thrashing.  He wants to give his brother a sound thrashing in this imaginary scenario because his brother is going to tell you that he used a bad word (in their native tongue, not yours).

You generally do nothing about swearing their native tongue because A. you don’t speak their language so you don’t know, and it’s a case of he said/he said, so you still don’t know, and B. there are far, far more important issues you deal with and you don’t want to alienate these borrowed children.    But this child still, for some reason, desperately, desperately wanted to stop you from finding out.  You wonder why.  You want to hope and believe it is because a bond is forming and he does not want to disappoint you, but you can’t be sure.

Imagine while you are playing human straight-jacket, the boy is still twisting like an eel, belligerently telling you no and refusing to say ‘please’ or slap the floor so you know he has control and you can release him, while also still trying to damage any sibling in reach lashing out with his feet, hard, anytime he thinks he might actually be able to kick them- and yet also, gently holding your hand in one of his, and pressing his cheek gently against your lips while you are kissing him and whispering, ‘please stop.  I love you.’

And when he finally says please, and you let go… he does not.  Nor does he leave.

Imagine knowing he could have ended it with a good head butting, twisting your fingers, kicking, twisting with more ‘oomph,’ and many other methods which would have caused you pain, but would have been effective.  But he did not.


Imagine.  How do you convincingly love this child enough and in all the right ways to make him feel safe receiving love and affection- in 8 weeks?

You probably don’t.  But you hope and pray for a miracle anyway, and barring that,  that the holy spirit partners with you and helps make a soft, receptive spot in that coat of armour, a chink of receptivity.

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