So, we in the Sand clan live basketball. Live it and breathe it. Because of this, there are many, many pairs of basketball shoes in the garage from yesteryear that we step over to get into the house.
This year we bought our daughter a pair of basketball shoes that developed a good-sized rip near her pinkie toe. We were near the end of the season and the frugal part of me thought we could get through one more month. My basketball stud husband gave me the look. So I got online and ordered a pair from Zappos. (Love that company).
A week or so later, I happily realized that the original pair would be under warranty! So I called the company’s phone tree and waited (im)patiently as I jumped from branch to branch. Many many minutes later I spoke with a wonderful live person, who said he’d email me a prepaid postage label and a return authorization form and we’d get a replacement pair of $90 shoes just as soon as we shipped the defective ones back.
The next morning my daughter entered my bedroom and asked very nicely if I was the person who had dumped her shoe basket all over her floor. I quickly apologized, but explained about the warranty and how I’d needed a number off the shoe. But when I couldn’t find the shoes, the fellow emailed a form I could fill out myself (and, um, in my haste I forgot to put the shoes back in the basket. Sorry!).
“So,” I eagerly ask. “Where are the shoes?”
“I threw them away when I got the new pair.” She replied with a nervous tilt of her head.
I wasn’t thinking about those thousand cattle as my lips pressed into tight, white lines. I blinked a few times in an attempt to wipe away the haze of frustration I peered through. She felt horrible. I gave her a stiff hug and told her she was more important than a stinkin’ pair of shoes.
But I couldn’t let it go. It stayed on my mind. God may throw things into the Sea of Forgetfulness, but I’m really good at fishin’ them back out.
Finally, when He’d had enough of my stewing and trying to let go, and grabbing it back again, He brought to mind the parable of the unmerciful servant. The guy owed the king a hundred thousand dollars. The servant begged for mercy and the king forgave the debt. Then the servant had a friend who owed him ten dollars. The friend begged for mercy, but the servant threw him into debtor’s prison. (Matt 18:21-30)
Ouch and double ouch! I’ve been forgiven much, but you couldn’t tell by how I held onto those darn basketball shoes.
My backyard is filled with mistakes. Where weeds once grew, God has planted flowers. God recently told me not to go mining in my past without Him, because without Him sifting through the memories with me, there is no grace for my mistakes.
And I’ll get hammered by condemnation, guilt and regret. Oh, and shame, that lovely bedfellow I lived with for far too many years.
God is so kind to me and so gentle when it comes to the messes I make, how can I not extend that same love to others?
How do you handle your kids mistakes?