Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Grace and Ice Cream

Sometimes I get it right. I actually listen to the still small voice, the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit, and move with Him.

Today was a tough day for my oldest son. I've written about his early life here. While life is so normal with him now that I hardly remember those early days, sometimes the reminder is fierce. I don't know if he needed more sleep last night or what, but he was just a grump, yelling at everyone, especially me all morning. Every time I crossed him, no matter how calmly and directly I spoke, he screamed, "Why are you so mean?!?" And refused to listen to me. 

I tried talking him down, ignoring the outbursts, and sending him to his room. I let him lay on my bed to cry it out. Nothing seemed to work.

In the early afternoon an idea began to form. What if I did something radical? Something filled with grace? What if I loved Him like I have been loved?

After checking with my husband and receiving his blessing, I told Ben to grab his shoes. 

"Why?!? Where are we going? I don't want to go! I don't even know where my shoes are!"

I told him to get his shoes and he could stay in the car if he chose. Grumbling, he climbed into the backseat. 

In the car, praying under my breath, I asked him if he knew what a mulligan was. I explained that a mulligan is a do-over. If you swing wildly in golf and your ball flies in the wrong direction, you can have another turn...without penalty.

I asked him if that's how his day went, if he needed a mulligan. Relieved, he agreed that he did. He asked me how we were going to do it and I said that I can't think of any better way to recharge a day than with ice cream.

After we received our cones and parked ourselves on the tiny tables outside, I asked Ben if he felt like he deserved ice cream on this day. Sheepishly, he said he didn't. 

"That, my son, is what God does for us. It's grace. We don't deserve His forgiveness or His love, but He offers them freely. Grace is different from mercy. Mercy is when you deserve punishment, but you are spared. Like when we deserve death because of our sin, but Jesus already paid that price. Grace is when we get something good that we don't forgiveness, or love, or peace, or..."

"Or ice cream?" piped in my cheeky boy. 


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