When we first moved to El Sembrador and started to get to know the students, one little boy stood out to me right away. He's a pest. Annoying, moody and always in trouble, Lou is an obnoxious young man. His name is really Luis, but I call him Lou because he hates it. Actually he likes to pretend to hate it.
At first Lou seemed like he'd do anything for attention. He picked arguments with me, taunted me and generally pushed all my buttons. He just seemed to want my reaction. But I did my best not to respond. I didn't yell at him to calm down or tell him to stop it. I just answered his ridiculous questions meant to bait me into an argument. I didn't let him divert my attention from the other boys. And if he got too out of control, I just ignored him altogether. Lou was a real pain.
After several weeks of torturing me, Lou met me at the soccer field one evening in a particularly rotten mood. He spent at least an hour telling me how much he hated our new puppy and how he had plans to sneak in our house and steal him. Gradually, his taunting turned into threats on the poor dog's life! But I just ignored him and struck up conversations with the other students who all wanted to know more about our new pet. At the end of the night, Lou walked up to me and stuck out his hand for a handshake. "Kelly, you fall well with me," he said matter-of-factly before heading off to bed.
I didn't know it at the time, but that sentence signaled a change in our relationship. Lou was a different kid from that point on. Oh sure, he still gets into all kinds of trouble. But he's the first for volunteer when I ask for help with something. He's polite and open with me. He takes correction well and doesn't talk back. He even asks about the puppy once in a while. Recently, he opened up to me about a bad day and I got the opportunity to pray with him.
I guess sometimes Lou feels like he's got to push a person down just to see how they land. I, for one, am glad I fell well.
Lou, you fall well with me too buddy.