When I was a little boy, my hair was white blonde. In the summer, the sun would bleach it even whiter and I spent a lot of time out of doors on account of my parents liked the peace and quiet.
My mom loved to sew and she could create a dress in a day. (I’m sure there were many times my mom could cut out a dress and sew it and alter it to fit in less time than it took to pick a pattern and choose the fabrics. I was an unwilling member of the pattern-picking-fabric choosing party more times than I care to recall).
One spring, mom decided I needed a new sport coat for Easter Sunday. Light blue was my “season”. I’ve seen pictures of this and I did look very dapper. I was an exceptionally cute kid?this fact has been confirmed by a number of impartial, non-related people. And I was especially cute in this light blue sport coat.
At the time and dad was pioneering a church in a little town called Wayland, Michigan. The church was meeting in the basement of the post office. Through the week, the basement room was used as a pool hall. We would come in early Sunday morning and scoot the pool tables to the back of the room, sweep up the cigarette butts, and set up folding chairs. Dad had a light metal lectern that he used for a pulpit. Mom accompanied the congregational singing with an accordion. They were an impressive team. Easter Sunday in 1963, I would have been five years old. We would celebrate next Easter in a new building. A small red-brick colonial out across Interstate 131.
At the close of the message that morning, I received a call from nature at the precise time Dad began to draw the net and mom’s services were required to accompany the invitation with her accordion. To get to the little boy’s room, you had to go down the aisle to the front and walk past the preacher down a little hallway. A calling only I understood propelled me forward that morning.
I soon discovered that the little boy’s room was not adequately supplied for the necessary “paperwork”. Needless to say, by the time my mom looked in on me, I was a mess. My blue sport coat was a mess. I could immediately tell by the look on my mom’s face that I had done the wrong thing.
My parents conferred briefly and decided to clean me up and keep me. I don’t remember if the jacket enjoyed the same fate.
I wish this was the only mess I have ever made of things. I’m afraid it’s not. Some of my messes have embarrassed my family, brought pain to ones I love, and grieved my Heavenly Father. Thank God in spite of them all, he has chosen to clean me up and keep me. He’s a good Father. He cleans up the boy and keeps him. He throws away the garments stained with sin. I will always love Him for that!
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.