Monday, October 25, 2010

Top Shelf Blues

Last night I knelt to pray and began to repent of sins of the past, I'm talking years ago which I'm sure I had already asked forgiveness for but just to make sure... As I prayed, I began to relive those mistakes I made, and then self-condemnation began to set in. In my soul, I began to panic a little. I was supposed to be spending time in God's presence but it seemed my mind jumped in a time machine that hurled me back to those uncomfortable scenarios. I called out to God, asking Him to assure me of His company and His love for me. Then He brought to mind what had happened just that afternoon with my son.
     In the past, Max has climbed up on his toy box and then on to his dresser to get an item off the shelf that is not necessarily meant to be played with. I've caught him doing this and he was punished for it. I don't want those shelves to come falling down on him, so he needed to understand this is not acceptable. I told him if I ever caught him again, he would be (severely punished).
     Yesterday I heard a crash in his room, but it sounded like toys falling out of his closet so I didn't investigate immediately. A couple minutes went by and there had been this consistent scraping against the wall sound. Fearing the paint being scratched, I called out, "Max, what are you doing?" His answer was a cry of desperation. I walked in to find him standing on his toy box trying with all his might not to drop one of the shelves he had been forbidden to touch that was teetering in his failing grip. When he saw me,  a look of sheer terror came over him and he began to cry, still trying to hold up the shelf. I stood there looking at him not knowing what course of action to take because I remembered what I told him would happen if I caught him up there again, and his reaction told me he remembered it too. As I wondered what I should do, my anguished son looked at me desperately wanting some help but realizing he was also staring at his rightful disciplinarian. Marty walked in and immediately went to his aid. Then he had a time out while Marty and I discussed his consequence. The girls were going to a costume party, but Max would not be going for disobeying and knocking the shelf off the wall. It wasn't what I originally guaranteed him, but it would have to do.
     Marty left with the girls and Max and I stayed home. I asked him if he was ever going to do that again and he convincingly shook his head no. I asked him if he was sorry and he said yes. I couldn't get the look on his face when I walked in on him out of my head. He knew he blew it big time and he expected me to react a lot more strongly than I did, because I said I would. But I love him. I felt bad for him.
     We watched some videos together while we had "just the boys" time and the night ended pretty normally, except for the last several nights, Max has wanted Marty to put him to bed. Not last night. For some reason, he wanted me to tuck him in, which I was happy to do, complete with a story, some tickling, a little rough housing and pillow fighting before lights out.
     This whole scenario came to mind as I knelt before God that night in fear of being scorned for my way past sins. I know a good father disciplines his kids, but did God see the terror on my face as I prayed? He's a Father, my Father, just as I am to Max. I'm sure He looked at His boy in that moment and His heart strings were pulled because He loves me.
     After God showed me His heart for me through what happened with my son, I immediately got up and went in to Max's room to adjust his covers and stroke his head. I may be 42 years old, but I have to admit, I wouldn't mind at all, whether I was aware of it or not, if my Father came in to my room to check on me and give me some late-night love especially in light of how imperfectly I may have behaved that day.

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