A child shall lead them
“Mom,” he’d said, blue eyes troubled, “I don’t deserve Starbucks.”
On a steamy Hoosier night in July, we’d traveled to another town, another place to see an old friend from the past. What a blessing. We’d talked and laughed, told stories, shared lives. And then it was time to go.
Faced with a busy weekend, we hooked a left into the supermarket lot. “We’ll stop at the Starbucks up the road,” I had said, “once we’re finished getting our groceries.” And Little had cheered.
Now, here we were in the checkout lane, and there came his surprising words. “I don’t deserve Starbucks.”
“Why not?” I said, looking into his face. Shame rested there on his features.
“‘Cause I said a bad word at recess once.”
“Why did you?” I said. “Were you trying to make people think you were cool?” Mother’s trying to get a bead on the issue.
“No. I was by myself. And I said it one other time, too.”
“Well,” I said, “did you confess it? And did you ask God to forgive you?”
His answer was quick, truth spilling. “No. But I’ll do it right now.” And there beside the candy bars, my son folded his hands, closed his eyes, bowed his head and he prayed.
Finished, he looked up. “But I still don’t deserve…”
“God’s Word says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just (that means fair) to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. From the black stuff that gets on us. So did you do your part? You confessed it?”
“Then His part is the forgiving. He promised He would.”
And my son, He of the Blue, Blue Eyes, he looked up. And said this, “That was easy!” The shame that had plagued him was gone, pain erased.
It was such a beautiful reminder to me during this particular season of my life, and it affirmed and reinforced what I’d been learning. That there was such simplicity in Christ, that walking with Him wasn’t hard. Not like I’d thought, and the relief that it brought was immense. Oh, my.
You sin? You confess, He forgives, you keep walking. There’s no need to wallow or to grovel. That was it.
And that was easy.
“I thought you’d be mad,” he said, “and maybe spank me.”
“If you had a bad heart, and you justwanted to say bad words all the time, I would probably have to,” I said. “But it’s taken care of.”
“Should I tell you what the bad word was?”
“I don’t have to know it. It’s over with, and besides. God sees the words that are in your mouth before they ever come out.”
His eyes widened. “He does?”
“Yes, He does.”
And like that, the sun came out on his countenance. We finished paying for our groceries, and Little’s Dad drove us to Starbucks. Where Little and I, we found grace and espresso, gifts that we didn’t deserve.
But were given.
Because God’s a good Father like that. Amen.