Monday, August 1, 2011

all things to all people

He is still not sleeping AND he woke his sister?  RGH! The audacity of that kid!  The naughtiness, the selfish ingratitude of this child!  A child who has never wanted for a thing in his life, taking a vacation from his normal easy preschool life for even easier, more exciting days of vacation and family, not asked even once to wash a dish or change a diaper, sitting in his bed with a smirk on his face, refusing to grant me the one request I have made of him today- take a freaking nap!

 A transgression, and a smirking sinner; then, a mommy fit, and a child crumbling under law spewing from my mouth in anger.
Law he deserved to be sure, but rage he did not.  
I pause, pray, breathe deeply.  He cries.
“Just sit quietly while I figure out what I am going to do with you.”
 I want to storm out of the camper and tell his father to deal with him.

Jesus help, what do I do with this kid?
He has crumbled, and indeed he was wrong… and I was too but RRRGGGGHHHH…... 
He lay on his bed, staring at me while I prayed, pleading to me with his eyes for reconciliation between us.

I finally sat beside him, still angry but also humbled, and spoke to him of sin.  Naughtiness, sin, hurts us and those around us, doesn’t it?  He agreed, and though he was young he could easily see how his sin hurt, and he felt the sting of mine.  We spoke of the wages of sin, of the cross, and of grace.  We prayed and confessed together, and I reminded both of us of the forgiveness we have in Jesus.

We hugged afterwards, but I could see in his eyes that he was still worried.  He apologized one more time, and hugged me tightly, and one more time I told him that forgiven sin is not to bother us any longer.  Yet it seemed so abstract of a concept for this little guy.  He continued to grovel.

“Sin IS very bad son,”  I explained.  “Like … hm, something little boys care about… like yucky poop.  Have you ever seen a big pile of yucky poop on your toilet paper?” 
He nodded, his eyes were dancing all of a sudden, and he knew exactly what I was talking about.  His nose wrinkled and he giggled.
“Yes, it’s gross isn’t it?  Well, sin is like having a big wad of gross toilet paper in our hands.  But when we give it to God, and do you know what he does with it?  He forgives us: He flushes it down the toilet.  Now, do you have to worry about your nasty toilet paper once it has been flushed away?”
“NO, tee hee hee hee.”
“It’s the same thing with sin.  Once God forgives our sin, he flushes it away, and we don’t have to worry about it.  Isn’t that great?”
His smile was huge and relieved. 
His mood was transformed.  He hugged me one last time, and then skipped off to the next thing.

 I was left wondering about this conversation…  Is this a good way for a mother of little boys to be “all things to all people?”

And, will this child, for the rest of his life, ponder the grace of God every time he flushes the toilet?

1 comment:

  1. I love the toilet papar analogy, what a great and creative way to get a young one to understand.


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