Slapped by Santa

I was only five-years-old and psychologically traumatized.  We didn’t have a fireplace so Santa had knocked on the door and dragged his bag of goodies into our small house.  I was so excited I raced out onto the street and looked up onto the roof.  “The reindeer must be on the backside,” I told myself as I rushed back inside. It was then that it happened.  All I did was pull open his sack and reach inside. The big guy, the jolly (?) old man with the red suit slapped my hand.  Stepping back  I exclaimed, “You wouldn’t do that if my daddy was here.”

I am very sure that was the last time my father ever struck me.  My mother could never say, “Just wait until your father comes home.”   If I needed it she did it (a rubber spatula) because she knew he never would do anything other than sit with me on the backstairs and talk.

Frequently I hear people who have experienced a traumatizing loss say something about God punishing them.  I wonder about their God.  The writer of Hebrews wrote, “For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”  There is a difference between discipline and abuse.  Our heavenly Father will never abuse us.  The abuse we receive in life comes from the enemy of our souls who is delighted when we blame our Father.  However, our heavenly Father does on occasion find it necessary for our character development to punish us.  But it will always be the mildest, gentlest, most loving discipline possible with never a single degree of severity more than we need.   After all, our Father is there.

Written by Roger Bothwell on December 31, 2014