Last week Blythe and I hopped on an airplane and headed to Nashville, leaving a sad daddy behind for a week spent with my sister and Blythe's cousins. It was…active…loud…a bit chaotic…and so full of love and wonderfulness.
I left my camera's SIM card there, so pictures will have to come later, but for now here is a little story about something I learned:
If you've ever spent much time around a toddler, you know that they will remind you of your sin nature quite often. Even well behaved, sweet, disciplined toddlers like my 3 year old niece, Caroline. First you see that side glance, surveying the area for any prospective disciplinarians who may be watching. Then the slow, calculated move to snatch the toy out of a sibling's hand, or unroll the toilet paper, or sidewalk chalk on the house.
And you are reminded again that we are born ready to sin and go against what we know is right.
While I was visiting, Caroline was recovering from a bit of a rash that had been the culprit of a few potty accidents. She was feeling better, the rash was pretty much gone, but she was being a bit stubborn about going to the bathroom still. It was the cause of a few meltdowns, and inevitably a few more accidents.
One evening as Dan and I were sitting at the table feeding Ellie and Blythe, Kali and Caroline were back in the bathroom, trying once AGAIN. Caroline started out alone in the bathroom, but lured Kali in with her sweet rendition of, "Read a book to me, read a book to me, hi-ho-the-dairy-o, I need you to read a book to me."
Kali proceeded to the bathroom just off the kitchen to encourage Caroline to "just go potty," where she discovered that Caroline's panties were indeed, not quite dry.
"Caroline, what is going on?!" Kali sternly questioned her daughter. "You know how to get to the bathroom. You canNOT keep having accidents."
Caroline, pants around her ankles, reaches out and gently grabs ahold of Kali's face. "Mommy, are you going to give me grace?"
Of course, Dan and I chuckled a bit as we overheard her sweet remarks, but Kali came out just shaking her head. She KNEW Caroline knew better. She KNEW Caroline was capable of making it the bathroom. She KNEW Caroline was just being stubborn. Yet those sweet hands on her cheeks, and those blue eyes pleading for grace….what is a mom to do?
And isn't that a little bit like our lives? Aren't we all having accidents all day long? Don't we usually KNOW better, but choose to be stubborn instead?
And yet when we reach out to God, covered in our own mess, and ask for GRACE, He simply gives it to us. He helps us clean up, he hugs us, shows us the better way to choose next time, and gives us GRACE. We are not so far away from being toddlers ourselves, now are we?