He calls me from above, "Mama, I made a mistake!"
I blow a hard breath, slam the dish cloth down and run upstairs. I think: Again?! He was too-late again?! He's six!
And I see - a terrible mess. Not the kind of mess a six-year-old should be having, I think.
I shout: "How could this happen?! No one does this! No one! What would have happened if this happened at school?"
(and dare I say it...and I did...)
"You'd be kicked out [of school]!"
(I see the foolishness and silliness of that last part now and [by grace] I am able to chuckle.)
It all comes clearer with a little bit of time, with each wiping and spray of the cleaner, and each toss of a sock in the garbage, and the underwear.
"I had a tummy ache," he says in between sobs. "I didn't know..."
And I see just then.
I see that he was standing up and had to go, but didn't know just how he had to go.
I'm still mad. Reeling.
Shouting. In the bathroom. A place where we said we wouldn't ever shout at him. A place where he'd be comfortable to go, and to be.
I get him cleaned off and into the shower to wash himself. And I am calmer now.
Softly I ask him, "Do you understand that you have to go earlier?"
Sobs. "Yes, Mama, yes!"
"Do you, really?," I ask.
He replies with an emphatic "Yes!," and I still doubt.
A softer voice comes from deep within me. Gentleness.
"I forgive you, honey, I forgive you."
His whimpers at this point now turn into deep sobbing again. I can tell he feels the weight of shame, disappointment, and I hope he feels forgiveness now.
More gentleness comes from angry me.
"It is done," are words that come from my wretched mouth.
The child sobs more.
Then, just the sound of water raining over him. I pray it's grace showering over him.
Angry me meets Gentle Spirit. He who saves me from breaking the fragile and still developing heart of my son.
I'm grateful that it is done.
There's no more talk that night about his mistake, and I pray he sleeps peacefully.
I didn't see it then, and I do now...his choice of words - a mistake - once came from my own mouth.
And I see that I might have taught him about grace. Extending favor on him once or twice before when I was able to say, we all make mistakes; it's just a mistake.
Then, the very next day, my own lack of sleep breaths fire into the same place we stood the night prior. I take my frustration out on the innocent.
I'm asking him a question and he's not speaking in a way I understand, and so I shout at him to speak clearer. And I hurt him without realizing what I'm doing. Yet, I do realize.
He wails that I'm hurting him.
Kneeling down to his level, I hold him and apologize. Ask for his forgiveness and he nods yes. Knowing that he might not really know what he's nodded to, I trust that he does.
My fear is alive that maybe this - this episode of the fiery-dragon who just spewed her own selfishness on to this innocent little boy - will be the sticking point for him.
Lord, let it not stick. Let him truly forgive. Help him to forgive.
I pray he sleeps peacefully. I pray for Divine Amnesia.
I still feel the pain of my shame, even now, and it's still difficult to receive God's grace.
Grace for me. Love for me. Forgiveness for me.
It's hard to let myself believe, It is done.
These moments - the two situations I've described - they are moments that have humbled me beyond all description this week.
I've realized it is moment-by-living-moment that I need God's guidance, and His gentle hand. And, moment-by-blessed-moment He shows me His grace - for me. So that I can know it and trust in it. So that I can give it away with His strength.
Again I see, all is Grace. All.