Forgiveness

We have a little neighbor girl, I’ll call her J,  who comes over somewhat regularly, in an irregular way. We see J a lot and then we don’t.

During the summer J took a bug catching net home with her, but she visits her grandma who lives across the street from us, so it went to her real home. The day right after she took it she had come over to play, but I was busy making something where time was of the essence, kneading rolls comes to mind, and my hands were dirty and I was unable to get the net from her at that very moment. She had stayed the night at her grandma’s and had brought over her suitcase, what she had taken the net it, but I was too busy. I told her to come over later that day but we didn’t see her until the next week and of course the net was at her real house by this time.

When J came to play Lilah would ask about the net and tell her it’s not nice to take things. I don’t know the exact age J is, but I believe she’s right in between Lilah and Eden in age, or around 4 to 4 1/2.

I would remind Lilah to not worry about the net, but of course it was something precious to her and she wanted it back. Lilah stopped asking for the net and began not playing with J when she would come over and after J left Lilah would mention how not nice J was for taking the net.
I would try to tell Lilah that sometimes people don’t understand that they shouldn’t take things and to forget about the net.

Yesterday it happened again.

J had come over and Eden was playing with her, but Lilah would not. Later in the car as we drove to Beth’s house Lilah mentioned the bug net. I then started talking to her about grudges and forgiveness. Our conversation went something like this.:

Me- Lilah it’s not nice to hold grudges against people.  J didn’t mean to hurt you by taking the bug net, she just didn’t know better and decided to take it for herself. You need to forgive her.

Lilah- What’s a grudge?

Me- A grudge is when you’re mad at someone for a long time and you don’t forgive them. Would you like it if I stayed mad at you for something you did a long time ago?

Lilah- No.

Me- So you need to forgive J and move on and be her friend.

I guess our talked worked, or made an impact, because when J came over today Lilah actually played with her a little. Of course their interest are different so it only lasted for so long, but I was happy to see Lilah trying to play with her rather than trying to ignore her.

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