Monday, July 26, 2010

Ketchup Stains

A man is dying. The doctor comes into a patient's room with the cure to his disease. Upon entering the room, he notices a ketchup stain on the patient's hospital gown. With great efforts, he proceeds to get rid of the ketchup stain, and neglects to administer the medication.

Hans gave this illustration to make a point in his sermon yesterday. Here, I am recycling it for a somewhat different purpose.

Most of the day, I am busy cleaning ketchup stains, disinfecting hands, and making sure he eats his vegetables. Now, there is nothing wrong with cleaning ketchup stains, but too often I forget that my children have an infinitely greater need -- they are little souls in need of grace and the Gospel.

It's Monday, and here is to a new beginning.

Resolved, to demonstrate grace, in hopes that when the time comes for us to explain the Gospel to them, they may understand what it means to be forgiven and to be loved in ways that we do not deserve.

1. I need to remind myself to look at my sons the way the Lord looks upon me.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:14-15)
In his mercy, the Lord remembers we are made of dust.
I need to remember Emeth is two years old,
and Yohanan is one month old.
They are "new here" and have a lot to learn.
I need to have more patience and compassion.

2. Forgive and forget, immediately.

3. I need to pray with them and pray with them often -- in joy and in want. Especially when I feel like I am losing patience, we need to beseech our Lord together for strength and grace.

4. Throughout the day, I need to fill them with words of praise and assurance, with reading and drawing, holding and kissing. Instead of reacting to bad behavior or responding to whines, I need to initiate love and anticipate needs. Even when they are non-cute looking (unthinkable, I know), I need to be kind and gracious towards them, as the Lord has been kind and gracious to me.


Jenni Naselli said...

Thanks, Irene. I needed that!!

Swansea said...

mm i really like that analogy~ thanks hans+irene!