A friend and his wife just got back from a two-week camper-vacation to the Great Plains (Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the Badlands National Park and Grand Teton National Park). He’s still beaming from the energy that comes from being immersed in nature. Sightings of grizzlies, geysers and…
…a tragic — though not fatal — accident.
My friend told me about an enthusiastic father who thought it would be cool to get a picture of his 5-year old son on the back of a wild bison. A wild bison. This 2,000+ pound wallowing creature does seem to move in super-slow motion, so the father probably thought he could move more quickly than it. Anyway, he held his son up in the air to mount him on the bison’s neck. The bison turned its head, and its horn penetrated the little boy’s stomach. Again, the son survived. And even though I knew neither of them, my heart ached for that family who certainly hadn’t planned for a stomach gouging during their vacation.
Soon after the empathy, though, I noticed a few judgmental thoughts. Perhaps you did, too? Judgments like “What the heck was that father thinking?” Or maybe harsher?
Trust me, I’m not trying to be a goodie-goodie here. But I was thankful for that quick moment that showed me so clearly how self-righteous judgments are created. I am neither better, nor worse, than that father. Everyone has suffered from unwise choices. And everyone has benefited from Grace’s relief.
This Sunday, Father’s Day, let’s send this Dad and his family some love-filled thoughts.