If I have told her once I have told her a thousand times not to take a bath with her e-reader. But she is my daughter, which means she has to learn some things the hard way, and that was the case last night. She (name withheld to protect the not-so-innocent) opened the door last night, eyes brimming with tears and hands shaking as she handed me her soaking wet Kindle. The screen was blank and all buttons were unresponsive. Fortunately for her (and me) my brain went into ‘problem-solving’ mode instead of ‘let’s-give-the-dad-knows-best-speech’ mode and I pried off the back, exposing the dripping wet circuitry and shoved it into a bag full of rice to wick away moisture before any more damage could be done.
It wasn’t until I sealed the bag that I noticed her face. She was totally and completely dejected. There was no need for me to fuss at her, I could tell she was beyond sorry for her mistake. When she finally looked up and noticed me staring at her she assumed I would be upset (and there was a part of me that was) and she began to beg for jobs around the house so she could pay to replace her favorite device. There were no excuses and plenty of apologies and even more tears. All she wanted was to make it right somehow, and in that moment it was all I could do to keep from giving her my newer, better updated Kindle. She was repentant, and I was reminded how grace must look from heaven.
God sees us. He sees us when we mess up. He sees us when we celebrate our sin rather than recoil from it. But when He sees us repent, truly repent in the “I’m-done-making-excuses” kind of way, I believe His heart breaks for us the same way mine broke for my daughter’s. Just as I was willing to sacrifice my Kindle to a child who all but destroyed hers, God was willing to sacrifice the life of His Son for people who had already ruined their own lives.
That’s the beauty of grace. In the midst of our struggle with sin, just when we hit rock bottom, the King of Heaven steps in and says, “Here, let me take the punishment you deserve and you take the reward that is rightfully mine.” I needed that reminder of grace last night, because the person I find hardest to forgive is not my daughter, but myself. I needed to be reminded that God didn’t begrudgingly take my place at Calvary. He did so gladly, so that I wouldn’t have to suffer with my guilt and shame any longer.
By the way, the trick with the rice worked. I can’t wait until she gets home and see the joy on her face so that I can be reminded of the joy of restoration!