Pink glitter graces the cover of an ordinary notebook.
“Please, can I have this, Mommy? I need this! It’s so beautiful!”
After some freckle-faced persuasion I acquiesce and continue my search for groceries.
About thirty minutes later we are standing in the checkout line staring down every kind of candy known to man. As I unload the cart and become distracted by my coupons, the temptation overwhelms freckles and she sneaks a bag of gummy bears onto the belt without asking.
Unpacking at home, I discover the forbidden treasure.
“Maylee. Come here.”
“What are these?”
Silent freckles stare back.
“Did you put these in the groceries?”
“I wanted them. Can I have one?”
“No. You didn’t ask. You can’t have any.”
I continue in the pantry and the refrigerator for some time. Just as I’m finishing, freckles returns in front of me, places a paper fresh out of the glitter notebook face down in front of me, and runs away.
It reads this way:
“i love you evino i am bad sumtimes I wandr if i code hlpp and get some jelo 😦 I wod lick to slep 🙂 “
The rest of the page is full of a crying frowny face.
It is possible that she just wanted jello, but something tells me that she really felt guilty about the gummy bears. Either way, I muse at her self-awareness and the accuracy with which she paints our human condition.
How many times have I taken what I want without asking God first – knowing full well that I was not allowed? Presuming first that he would withhold good, and after, presuming upon his grace.
Contradictory much? I mean, is he good or isn’t he? If he was really one to withhold good, wouldn’t he withhold grace? And if he was good for grace, wouldn’t he be good for our human needs?
Even in my guilt, like freckles, asking for more undeserved blessing and resolving to escape by running away as fast as I can and going to sleep just in case he has some unpleasant disciplinary answer in response to my wrongdoing.
Wrath and anger, however, was the last thought in my mind as I read the convict’s heartfelt note.
With a smile, I walked up to freckles’ bedroom where I found her rolled up into her blankie, sucking her six year-old thumb in self-pity.
“Are you sad?”
“Are you upset that you were dishonest?”
She nods again.
“I’m sorry, Mommy. I just wanted them.”
“It’s ok. Just ask next time.”
After some discussion on stealing and the like, she throws off her blanket and returns to toys and trampoline jumping.
I get it. God loves me like I love freckles. He is not one to withhold good like I am so inclined to think. He is not waiting in anger to punish when I come humble admitting my failures. There is no need to run away or hide under my shredded security blankets. God sees me like I see her. He looks upon his small, erring child with great love. My part is, like her, to come in honesty and humility when I fail temptation’s tests.