Crunch! What in the world…? I craned my neck and peered out the rear window of our minivan. What did I just hit? The curb? A stray tricycle?
Gasp! Oh noooo! The babysitter’s car! I backed into the babysitter’s car! This is NOT GOOD.
It was just that kind of day.
I’d been up all night with the stomach flu. Our sitter came in the morning to watch my two-year-old while I recovered in the basement quarantine, and by noon I felt peppy enough to escape to the store for some chicken noodle soup. Apparently foggy flu-brain and driving don’t mix, because somehow I backed out of my driveway without registering the gray Toyota parked directly across the street.
Darn! I scurried back inside with my hand clapped over my mouth and broke the news. The sitter was gracious, but I was horrified—to tell my husband.
Arrrgh! I’m such an idiot! How dumb can I be?! He doesn’t work hard to pay for my stupid mistakes. He’s going to be so mad. I really let him down this time. Surely he’ll hold this against me.
Do you ever think that way about God?
The Bible calls the church the bride of Christ, for good reason. Marriage is a mini-picture of our relationship with the Lord. It’s our training ground for learning to love—and accept love—the way God loves us. Fearing my husband’s reaction to a fender bender, deep down, parallels the way I view God.
Can he handle my mess-ups? Will be love me less? Does his mercy really apply to me? And will I grab hold of it? Or will I beat myself up for being imperfect, as if God didn’t already know?
Truth is, my capacity for dumb moves doesn’t shock me. I’m faulty and I know it. But that’s not what makes me humble. On the contrary, dwelling on my mistakes is another form of self-centered pride, is it not?
True humility goes a step further. It requires believing my flaws don’t define me.
Think about it. If God’s love for us cannot change according to our good, bad, or airheaded behavior, then we have to admit—it’s not really about us at all. It’s about Him.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God,” (Romans 15:7, emphasis mine).
Whacking the babysitter’s car was not my shiniest moment. Granting that was the easy part. Accepting forgiveness is much harder. So before my husband came home that day, I prayed God would have a little chat with him about unconditional love—and that I’d be humble enough to receive it.
“I’m sorry.” I stood in the bedroom doorway while my husband pulled off his loafers and tossed his wallet onto the nightstand. I imagined hundreds of dollars flying out of it, thanks to my driving skills. “I know you’re mad at me.”
“I’m not mad.”
My husband turned to face me. “It’s okay.”
I love this man.
“Ugh, I can’t believe I did that!” I cast my eyes to my feet, thought for a moment, and looked up. “Well, yes I can.”
Grace is freely given. It’s up to us to grasp it. Not because we deserve it, but because the cycle of forgiveness honors God. And when I’m at my lowest, it helps to focus on the One who is highest. Compared to Him, everything about me looks much smaller—including my flaws.
I did eventually get that soup, by the way. Our sitter brought me a box the next day. Talk about forgiveness, eh? I cracked her car, and she worried that my soup run had been thwarted. I thought I ought to give her something in return—like my keys, maybe.
Park at your own risk, people. Crazy minivan mom is on the loose.
If this post encouraged you, please pass it on. You might also like How a Wiggles Movie Changed My Life, The Beauty of a Naked Lion Chase, and Cut Me Some Slack, Little People.
* * * * * * * *Linking up with: The Better Mom, Playdates With God, Mommy Moments, Marital Oneness Monday, Titus 2sdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Living Well Wednesdays, Wifey Wednesday, Grace at Home, Things I Can't Say, and Faithfully Parenting Fridays.