I was watching a little girl in church on Sunday. Not quite three, she was an engaging child, sitting with her mom and older sister. Well behaved, and minding her mom….. or so it looked..
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the little girl doing something. Mom spoke to her, I couldn’t hear the words, and then the little girl bowed her head against the pew in front of her and burst into tears. Inconsolable, heartbreaking tears. Mom quickly slipped out of the service with her sobbing child in her arms.
It wasn’t until after the service did I learn what had happened.
The little girl had drawn a beautiful loopy line in pencil on the back of the pew. Mom had said quietly and gently, “Did you draw that?” The little one bowed her head in shame, she knew that was a no-no, and then her overwhelming guilt burst forth in tears. Mom wasn’t mad, instead gathered that little bundle of remorse in a hug to comfort her and reassure her.
We’ve all been there, right?
How many times do we have lapses of judgement ourselves? Like a child who knows not to write on the furniture, sometimes we forget.
We do stuff we know we shouldn’t..
We say things we know we shouldn’t..
We fail to do things we know we should…
The difference between us and the little child is that we seldom burst into inconsolable, heartbreaking tears in remorse. Yet, we know that we are forgiven through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Will the little girl have lapses of judgement again? Of course.
Will we? Of course. Daily.
Will we be forgiven? Over and over and over again.
May we know the sting of guilt, the pain of remorse, and the deep, deep love of Jesus.
Jesus dies for your sin and pain.
Lift your head from shame to grace.
May the God of hope fill you
With all joy and peace in believing,
Wo that by the power of the Holy Spirit,
You may abound in hope.
Martin Rolfs Massaglia and Romans 15:13