he took something that didn’t belong to him. when caught he lied. when sent to the principle’s office he got scared and confused and went back to class instead. i discover this last bit on the way home and turn the car around and walk beside him as he reluctantly faces things.
this 12 year old is having a very bad day.
this mother of a 12 year old is having a very bad day too.
the problem is that the thing he took is lost. somewhere in his room. so he’s tasked with cleaning, looking as he goes. after dinner i decide to join the hunt, only to discover how my boys have been cleaning their room. you know, grab a handful of stuff and shove it under or behind or i know, these dirty socks and odds and ends will disappear nicely into this empty Lego box.
now there are 2 boys having a very bad day and one mom who needs a time out.
while the boys clean their room like they’ve never cleaned before, i pray the prayer that never fails.
Jesus, i need help.
He leads me beside still waters and i sit with His words and let them soak and settle in.
gathering the boys to my side we kneel to pray- the thing we should’ve done in the first place-regarding the lost toy.
the first offender begins, and i hear the words he’s been telling himself all day.
he wants to be a better person. he wants to be responsible. he wants to think before he acts. he wants to want to return to school instead of dread it.
underneath those words i hear the self-loathing that i know full well.
i move toward him, i cup his head in my hands and look straight into his red puffy eyes. he tries to look away.
“son, look at me.”
our eyes lock
“you are my son and I love you. this does not change that.”
he melts into a puddle of sobs
i rub his back and speak the words that give life.
words of Jesus seeing over the span of time to that day last week when this all began.
words of His deep love.
words of the cross.
words of a standing that is secure.
“you are His son and He loves you. this does not change that.”
yes, the wages of sin is death. oh don’t we all know it? haven’t we all felt it? especially when we’ve screwed up? screw-ups of the 12 year old sort and screw-ups of the beenwalkingwithJesusalongtimeandknowbetter sort. the weight of the death feels heavy on the chest.
and we want to be better, more responsible, think before we act.
and it’s easy to slip from real sorrow and repentance down down down into the self-loathing.
that’s a sorrow that leads to more death.
there is another way. a locking of red-puffy eyes with the eyes of a Father who knows it all.
and breathing in His words….
you are my child and I love you. this failure cannot change that.
….His words that bring the dead to life.
to draw further in, Isaiah 53, Psalm 32, Romans 6-8