The love song “Feelings” by Morris Albert was a popular song the year that Ray and I married. In his beautiful voice, Albert sings of a common theme in love songs, loving and losing and the fear that he will never recover from the loss of his beloved.
Albert begins simply with the word, “Feelings.” That one word in his voice came to mind when I thought about the story I am about to share. One of our grandchildren got sick and wasn’t able to join Ray and me for a recent Notty and Little time we had planned. We grandparents and parents decided that the outing would go on with his siblings and we would have a make-up time for the child who was sick.
The children all accepted this solution, until it came time for the make-up time. The little two-year-old who got to come the first time had a hard time understanding why he couldn’t come the second time. When I left his house with his older brother, the two-year-old cried like his heart would break while saying he wanted to go, too. Wow, that was hard for him — and for me.
While he cried like his heart would break, my heart was breaking for him. I remembered the day in fourth grade when our school had bring-your-mama-to-lunch day in the cafeteria. My mother and I had talked it over before school. I knew that this year she was going to lunch with my little brother who was in his first year at school instead of coming with me.
I don’t remember having a problem with the plan until I saw her at school. There I sat on the bleachers at gym class. When I saw her walk past the double doors into the hallway on her way to the cafeteria, I cried and cried. Big, burly Mr. Jareau, our gym teacher, was a kind comforter. Someone got my mother to come in, too. I didn’t mean to cause a scene. I think I was as surprised at my feelings as everyone else was. The tears simply came for no logical reason that my little mind and heart could articulate.
In the chorus, Albert sings, “Feelings, wo-o-o feelings . . . . ” Yep. Feelings, wo-o-o feelings . . . . Feelings are powerful. Sometimes they are hard to control in ourselves. Sometimes we try to control the feelings of other people, especially the feelings of children. We try logic. We even try reprimands. But we can’t control the feelings of other people. Acknowledgement, acceptance, compassion, love all work better than attempts to control.
“Wow, that hurts. I am sorry. I love you.”
So, as those who have been chosen of God,
holy and beloved,
put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience . . .