Our Mean-Ness and His Forgive-Ness

With tears streaming down his eyes, he cowered in the corner of the room.

“Don’t talk to me. I’m just too mean. I’m too mean to talk to. Just don’t talk to me.” 

My heart was heavy.

“Buddy, that’s not true. That’s just not true. ”

Kneeling beside him and gently wrapping my arms around his quaking body, I pulled him close. Immediately, his tense little body melted and the tears multiplied.

10 minutes earlier, he had just gotten angry, lost his temper, screamed my direction, and bolted from the table to the room upstairs at his grandparent’s home. He had fallen on the table, bonked his chin, and was absolutely and utterly embarrassed by the tears he felt he was “too old” to cry. Though his misplaced anger was certainly not justified, it could definitely be explained.

As my growing boy sat nestled in my arms, he said, “Mommy, I’m so tired of my mean-ness. I’m so tired of being nasty to you.” 

Tears immediately welled in my own eyes.

“Oh, buddy, I know. Oh, how I know. Ya know what though? That’s a beautiful place to be. Tired of our sin is exactly the place where God wants us to be.”

His eyes were big and his heart was soft.

“Buddy, do you feel my arms around you?”

He nodded.

“Ya know what? Your mean-ness doesn’t keep me from you. Sure, I don’t like it, and sure I’m tired of it, too. But ya know what? My heart is soft toward your repentance. And just like I am drawing near to you,even though you sinned against me, God does the VERY same thing with us, but He does it EVEN BETTER and MORE PERFECT than Mommy. Can you believe that?!?”

Quietly he listened as the tears seemed to still.

“Mommy, could you just pray to God for me?”

“Of course, buddy. I would love to pray for you.”

And as we prayed, my heart was simply overwhelmed.

What a sweet, sweet moment–a moment I never want my mama-heart to forget.

What a tender, tender opportunity to extend the Gospel to my son, a child who felt unworthy of love and forgiveness–a child who felt undeserving of grace and mercy–a child who was absolutely, down-right tired of his yucky sin.

And what a beautiful, beautiful opportunity to point his eyes to our merciful Savior, a God who never, EVER grows weary of being who He is…a loving, faithful, gracious Father who ALWAYS draws near to his tender-hearted, humble-repentant children.

Thankful, again, for a God who gives us tangible examples (sometimes in the form of broken children on our laps) to remind us of His never-waning, always-steady, never-shaming, always-forgiving love. 

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:17

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

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