Who really threw the first stone?
What to do when both parties tell different stories and there are no witnesses? Do you address the lie or do you focus on the culpability of both sides? Since they both threw stones…
Well, if I remember correctly, as a kid, I got quite hung up on who was lying. But, I also knew that returning violence for violence was bad. Still, there was always a deeper issue. There was the initial spark that escalated into the violence… and that really did matter. If that was never dealt with, we would probably fight again on another day.
But, in today’s conflict mediation, I focused on the fact that throwing stones was wrong whether you threw the first one or the second one. I wish I could have gone deeper to the reason the stone was thrown in the first place, but since neither one would admit to having thrown the first stone, there was no digging deeper this afternoon.
Instead, both boys are sweeping the compound. Supposedly thinking about why they shouldn’t throw rocks. Somehow, I think they’re thinking about other things… like, “Why does he have the same punishment as me? He’s lying.” Or, “I might as well have thrown the first stone.” Or, “I really don’t like him.”
Anyway, I trust Jesus will extend more grace and help me learn and grow through my inept/clumsy initial attempts at peacemaking. And hopefully I won’t scar too many little lives in the process. 🙂