Laughter, Grace and Monkeys

A few days ago Drew was headed to bed and we heard a bang and him cry out. Michael and I ran into his room and in the darkness it took a few seconds to realize he was laying in the floor just in front of the door. He’d stepped on an air pump, causing it to flip up and hit him in the shin. He then fell, and hit his eye on his bookshelf. And then apparently when we rushed in, Michael hit the door into his head. We laughed. A lot.

We tied for the bad parent of the year award. We had to go back in and apologize once we realized how hurt he was. And then we laughed again once we walked out.

And that is probably just one of a thousand things I did wrong this week alone. Some realities about me:

– I laugh at inappropriate times
– I hold a grudge
– I get my feelings hurt when I know I shouldn’t
– I obsess
– I spend too much time on things that don’t matter and not enough on the relationships that do
– I avoid what I don’t want to deal with
– and the list could go on…

That’s what makes the fact of God’s grace so amazing. I have all this junk, I am not nearly good enough, and yet… he accepts me and loves me.

Max Lucado says it so simply and clearly.
“Our Saviour kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, ‘I can clean that if you want.’ And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes our sin.”

Too often, I’m like this monkey- looking at everything a bit upside down. I get focused on what wrongs have been done to me, who has hurt me.

And I’m reminded that grace has covered me, and I need to extend some of the same. Thank goodness for grace, because I’m telling you- I could never get there on my own.

White Out, Erasers and Delete

My favorite key on the keyboard is delete.  It is my friend, the one that keeps the secrets of the dumb things I wrote, my errors and miscalculations.  It let’s me remove what I need, and start fresh.  And if I really didn’t want to delete that (you know, need to delete my delete), there is even the Undo option.  It’s lovely.

Before computers, I loved erasers- the scented ones and fun shaped ones, or when there was a lot to erase, the jumbo pink ones.  But as every kid knows, if you erase a mistake, you can still tell it was there.  Your paper turns a bit gray in that spot, and you may even end up with a tear. 

White Out was always a favorite through high school, when I was still typing a lot of papers on a typewriter, or handwriting them, and could cover mistakes without the messy eraser.  It was still obvious that there was a perfectly white smear on not exactly white paper, but at least it was clean. 

I’ve often thought that it would be nice to have a delete key in my life.  For when I’ve opened my mouth and out spilled words I’d like to delete, or days that didn’t go as planned and I’d like to do over.

Thankfully there are apologies, and forgiveness, and tomorrows. But they’re less like a delete key and more like an eraser.

The mistake is gone, but erasing it made even a bigger mess.  Sometimes that’s what happens with our own lives, where we cover mistakes with lies, or add excuses to apologies, or try to forget painful things that have happened. We may have covered up the mistake, but sometimes we make it even more messy than before. 

But sometimes God gives us White Out- He’s forgiven us, or He’s brought us through the storm, sometimes both.  He doesn’t want to leave us messy, but He also doesn’t want to take us back to where we began.  He covers us, leaving a reminder of what we faced, but yet leaving us even whiter and stronger than before.  When others look at us, they can see we’ve faced times that we’d like to delete, but they also see what we’ve become.  

Whatever it is you’d like a delete key for today, instead seek the White Out that means we’re loved and forgiven, and stronger than before.  And then take that new white spot, and start writing a fresh story.