19 February 2008

The Unmerited Ice Cream Favor

Tonight I was blessed with the opportunity of seeing my child's tender heart humbled in a small but profound way. I don't want to make too much of it (after all, he is only six), but my heart was touched by it. Here's what happened.

We had made big plans to go to play dodge ball after dinner at the local recreation center. (Let me tell you, this is no small feat, considering Daddy was working late and it supposedly started when Rosalind would normally be going to bed, and Mommy is usually beat by that time of night, etc.) Because today is a day with a "T," it also meant that we would be having dessert, after we got home from dodge ball. Unfortunately, my eldest child didn't eat what I would consider an acceptable portion of his chicken to have been deemed deserving of dessert, and he was made aware of this fact before we left for dodge ball.

Well, long story short: we got there, and there was no dodge ball, not for a couple more weeks. But, thankfully, there was no crying, whining, or complaining. And the kids were good natured about it as well! ; )

We got home, and watched a video together instead, and afterward, went upstairs to get ready for bed. This is when my younger son reminded me that we still had not had dessert. I was hoping that for some reason he would forget, but he's outgrown that. So my eldest reminded us that he wasn't supposed to have dessert, and my youngest reminded him that he was still eligible for dessert, and with a sigh, I pulled out some ice cream cups from the freezer.

The elder son looked at me with big eyes. I could see the emotion begin to swell up in his face as he said, "So, well..." and he looked at me as if he was ready to fall apart because we were about to eat ice cream in front of him, and he knew he was not deserving of it. (Mind you, he has, on more than one occasion, had to go to bed while his younger brother enjoyed dessert, because of various and sundry reasons.)

Thankfully, before the emotion turned to anger (which it so easily does with this one), I looked at him with a twinkle in my eye and said, "Would you like to have some ice cream anyway?" And he stammered and couldn't quite tell if I was teasing him or truly offering him ice cream, and he didn't know what to say. So I held it out to him with a reassuring smile and said, "Here you can have it. Now go get us all some spoons."

Then, his face twisted, and the emotions that were rushing forward couldn't be stopped, and he flung himself at me and wrapped his arms around me and was crying. He was hugging me while I still held the ice cream in my hand, and he was sobbing. He couldn't understand why I was giving him ice cream, when he knew good and well that he had not earned it and did not deserve it. I was laughing a little and crying myself a little, and my younger son was rather oblivious to the the whole significance of the transaction.

But the one who had received the unmerited favor was humbled and speechless, and I dare say experienced a new found appreciation for the one who had lovingly extended the ice cream. I couldn't help but make the connections in my own heart to this example of how God in His great mercy has extended His forgiveness for sin and offers a sweet communion with Him instead, even though we do not deserve such love. And I have reason to hope that this little experience impacts my child's heart in an way that helps him understand and appreciate who God is. I pray that even more for the one who seemed oblivious to what took place! And I thank God for using my own children to remind me of who He is.

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet story! Sounds like you both learned something there.