...remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. Exodus 3:5
We usually remove our shoes when we walk into our house. The ritual serves various individual purposes. For me, cleanliness of my floors. For Josh, comfort. For Emma Faye, a new pair of shoes to put on. For Chris, rest. For Will, relaxation.
Why not holiness? Our home is Holy Ground. Jesus walks about our hearts. The Holy Spirit breathes in our halls and seeps through our walls. The "sorry"'s bring forgiveness. Sinful children hear God's word. Sinful adults seek hard after Christ. Yes, a holy ground. Hard, Holy work is done amidst the homework and clutter; in the mowing of the grass and trimming of the hedges. Jesus is here. He is trimming away at us. Refining. Pruning. Teaching through life. His life. Revealing Himself through spiders and ladybugs...the vibrant purple-colored petunia and the fruitful tomato plants. I sit at my computer barefoot. Humbled by the holiness.
Had I not been paying attention, I would have missed it. I would have missed the holy encounter. By His grace, I was wide-eyed and ready. I was looking. Honestly, I was begging. It doesn't matter the details. It was a classic scenario. My son wanted something that he couldn't have. He was given two choices: 1. following in obedience 2. receiving the consequence of not following in obedience.
He chose poorly. He became angry. However, I let him be angry. After all, he wasn't throwing anything. He wasn't screaming. He was mumbling under his breathe. Things like, "I'm never going to sleep." Things that would have, in the past, made me so angry. I knew he had school. Yet, a thought occurred to me. Why should it concern me if he chooses to stay up late and further heap more consequences on himself in the future? Instead of anger, or guilt, I grieve. I grieve his sin. I can't remove sin. I can't soften a heart. I step out and pray Jesus to step in. While he was quietly crying, I physically step out of the room.
Twenty minutes later, his bedroom door opens.
"Mommy, can I talk to you?"
Yes, of course.
"I didn't mean it."
Could you explain more?
"I didn't mean it, mommy... those things I said. I was angry. I didn't mean it. I'm sorry."
Remove the shoes. Jesus is here.
I am too often the deliverer of the apology. I beat myself up for hours over this. I loathe my temper. I say things I don't mean. I seem to always be asking for forgiveness.
I am rarely the recipient of an apology. This was new for me. So precious of my Savior to spoon me a taste of His redemption; of redeeming love. A sincere I'm sorry heals so much. It loves more. I envelope my boy in my arms. I feel my shirt soak in the tears of us both.
Could it be that Christ has used all of my failures.. all my needing of forgiveness.. to convey MORE love? Here, I thought it was only tearing apart.
Have all of my mistakes and apologies taught my children how to say I'm sorry? Oh Christ, you do redeem! Was I not believing this before? Thank you, Jesus. Thank you.
I look into his eyes. Well done, sweet boy. I drop tears on this holy ground. Where I have modeled repentance, my children have perfectly exemplified forgiveness. I remember their words. I remember the usual words of my son. I quote them exactly.
It's OK. I forgive you.
We walk back to his bed. I pull the covers up.
"I love you so much, Will."
"I love you, too, Mommy."
And all is well in the world.