You are walking along when suddenly you see a man running toward you wildly. As he gets closer he is shirtless and barefoot, yelling loudly, and waving his arms erratically. You are disturbed and clearly this man is more than disturbed.
But as he gets closer, you understand that he is yelling, “Lion! Lion!” And you see a lion behind and chasing him. You quit judging and join him in running wildly.
When I heard this story, I burst out laughing imagining the scene. Then I sobered up thinking of the many times my wife and I saw something without knowing any backstory and gave each other that look. You know, the one that says, “What’s wrong with them?”
Our children also confound us at times. They do something or get upset for almost no reason at all. We wonder what possessed them to do such a thing or say such a thing. I have a couple of grandchildren like that. Some unseen thing can trigger a complete meltdown or screaming fit. Sometimes I have the chance to be there when one little girl is having such a meltdown. After some deep breathing as she comes to her senses, she is calm enough to share her story.
Seldom does it warrant the scale of the reaction she expressed, but I often admit that she has a point to her hurt. Together we work through it and she is helped to have a response that is appropriate and constructive. But seldom have I found this young lady to be totally off based.
The next time you see someone running toward you (metaphorically) flailing their arms wildly, take a moment to wonder, “What’s chasing them? What is driving this reaction that seems so irrational?”
Everyone has invisible lions.
May God bless us to be lion tamers in the lives of those whom we love, Christopher