It's been an extra rainy May here. I don't know if it's officially record-breaking or anything like that, but we haven't been able to go to the new playground that the kids love because of all the rain.
Yesterday morning as the rain was pouring down yet again, I asked on Twitter about a short film I remembered seeing years and years ago, when I was quite young. Follower @ktackel, based on my really terrible description, came up with Ray Bradbury's "All Summer In A Day." (You can find a link to the full text and the television show I remember here.)
In the story, people now live on Venus, where it always rains. Once every seven years, there is a short period of sunshine. One young girl lived on Earth before she moved to Venus and still remembers the sun, unlike all of her classmates. They tease Margot, claiming that she doesn't really remember the sun, eventually locking her in a closet. At that precise moment, the sun comes out and the children completely forget about Margot and enjoy their time in the sun. It's only when it begins to rain again that the children remember that Margot was locked in the closet the whole time.
I think what stayed with me for all of these years was how their intentional, but mostly harmless teasing resulted in an unintentional, but far more profound hurt. Margot was denied the only chance she would have in seven years to bask in the warmth of the sun.
I can't tell you how often I do this. I say something careless, I break a small promise, I allow a little grudge to fester. I know it's not good, but it's not BAD bad.
Then I get side-tracked. I'll go to church, listen to the great music and hear a powerful sermon and then go about my day. I know that I'm forgiven, so it's all good. The sun feels warm and cozy and safe.
Except that in the midst of me feeling good, I've left someone locked in a closet. My words still hurt them. My broken promise still cut into their ability to trust me. That grudge still left them feeling cold and unloved. My small wrong becomes something much larger than I ever intended.
Fortunately, time hasn't run out for me here. I can still go and let my loved ones out of the closet and we can still play in the sun together.
Have you ever allowed a small, intentional hurt grow into a big, unintentional hurt? Or had that happen to you? What's the weather like where you are?