What’s missing?

The other day, my son started talking, and talking, and talking.  Nothing new there, believe my ringing ears, but the conversation itself was.  He was spouting off that when HE has kids, he’s gonna do this, this, and that.  He’s never gonna let them have pop, pizza, or ice cream.  There’d be no computer time, no gaming machines, no junk food, no blah blah blah… then he added that he won’t let them get away with ANYTHING and every time they do something wrong… bamm… they’d always get in trouble.  No if, and’s, or but’s.


I looked at him, and while I knew he was just spouting off, I decided to talk it out.

“What’s the matter with this picture?  What’s missing in your idea?”  I just sat and looked at him.  He has never been treated this way, eats way too much sugar (don’t tell the dentist), and probably should get in trouble way more than he does.

He looked up and put his finger to his lips in a contemplative way that seemed, well, stereotyped.  I figured he’d blown me off and was about to spout some smart remark…but then he turned and said with firmness, “Grace.”

He stopped me cold.  I just looked at him.  It was the answer to my question in one simple word.  I expected a long drawn out conversation… but no, that was it.  He didn’t even elaborate.

We talk about grace a lot in our house – and I guess it sunk in somewhere along the way and he was not able to forget it even when he was goofing off and prattling on and on.

My heart warmed a bit and that’s when I knew that one of the biggest jobs I’d ever have to do had already been done.  I had helped nestle that in his heart… without his knowing it.

“Exactly,”  I said as he smiled at me.  “and does that mean you still want ice cream at bedtime snack, or should I outlaw it?”

“I was just kidding, ya know.”  He brushed me off and started on a new subject.  I had to laugh to myself at that.

Yeah, buddy, and the future Grandma-ME is happy about that.  But what I am happier about is the one word answer that was hidden in his heart that afternoon.  It’s not just the parenting advice here… it’s the bigger Grace that’s been extended to this boy, to me, and to us all, that really made me smile as I watched him from the distance.  That wonderful gift of Grace from God that’s even right now packaged for all the countless children to come, in generations still yet unborn, all waiting for them to unwrap.  A huge gift that is summed up in a single word…

Never heard of this gift… or want to know more?  I’m always around…  I don’t know it all – but I can point you in the right direction.  It’d be my honor!

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