I was talking with a friend recently about sin...about looking sin full in the face and calling it what it is.
Without this...without the confession, there can be no redemption. There can be no grace for our transgressions unless we admit them.
It's easier to make excuses for our sin...hide behind them and claim they are not sin at all, but something else. We call them personality flaws, the result of too little sleep, the fault of someone else. After all, the first thing sin always does is blame someone or something else.
I am learning this...and I want this truth to infiltrate the hearts of my children.
I want to take my children to the cross...to the place they can find freedom. If I allow them to continue to make excuses and hide behind faults...they will forever be caged within a wall of sin they cannot break down with their own strength.
Today...I was blessed to take my youngest there.
I glanced over and she had that look. You know the one...the one that says, "I just did something and I am really hoping you didn't just see that."
I was busy this morning cleaning the kitchen after breakfast...and I could have just left it alone. But I couldn't. I couldn't let her hide behind her sin, lest she fail to find freedom.
"What did you do?" I asked.
Her reply? "I'm too nervous to tell you."
Oh sweet girl. How many times I've been too cowardice to admit my own sin...too scared to stare it down and call it what it is.
"Just tell me...you can tell me anything. You don't need to be afraid."
Fear not, my child, for I am with you always.
Tears. "I just can't. I just can't tell you."
My heart breaks as I leave her on the chair. I finish my task of cleaning up the kitchen as I cry inwardly. Please...please let me take you to the cross. Please let me give you grace. Please give me a chance to show you the power of a God who came down.
I come back and sit next to her...and after twenty minutes and a lot of coaxing, out it came.
"Did you eat ice?"
Eyes wide, tears brimming, she nods slowly. I smile inwardly at a child who feels such remorse for a small transgression. But I know the feeling...she wasn't sorry she ate the ice. She was remorseful for the disobedience. Sin.
I look deep into her eyes and speak, "Ice can hurt our teeth...we aren't supposed to eat ice, are we?" She shakes her head...eyes searching mine. Then...I take her there.
"I forgive you."
Her tearful, soulful eyes open wide and reflect relief and adoration. She throws her arms around my neck and buries her face into me. Eyes squeezed tight, I hold her as grace washes over both of us.
She doesn't know it. She does know the ground on which she stands right now is holy. She doesn't know that, in this moment, she is being washed in this grace only because her mother, years ago, swam in it. And that her mother, even now, every day, drinks deep of Living Water and is washed cleaned...again. She doesn't know that this moment foreshadows all the moments she will need redemption...that this is not the last time she will confess and be restored. She doesn't know that this grace permeates her mother's heart and leaves her breathless. She doesn't know the blessing of giving grace back to a daughter after it's been lavished up on her so.
All she knows is that...right now...she's forgiven.
May we all be like this little child.
I wish that, more often, I would fail to see the future transgressions and just live in one moment of grace...that this moment would be enough for now. That I would ignore the stifling voice that beckons me to remember this isn't the first time I've messed up and it won't be the last.
That I would breathe deep of the redemption and let it completely cleanse before moving on.
Today this is my prayer. To receive grace fully and completely. To acknowledge my sin so I may be redeemed and set free. To spend my free moments at the foot of the cross and exploring the empty tomb.
And I pray these moments are given back to my children as I take them to the cross, through the empty tomb and straight to the Throne of God.