Growing up, my grandparents rarely had to discipline us. For some reason, we wanted to behave (for the most part) while at their home. When mother came to pick us up, well, then all bets were off. There was one time, however, that I almost got the belt from my grandfather.
During the early 70s, there was a fad to make paper airplanes of all types and shapes. They even had competitions (probably still do) to see how far they could make them fly. I was fascinated with them and would practise how to make them over and over again.
My grandparents never had a lot, but what they did have, they cherished. Which is probably why I keep a number of their antique and furniture pieces in our home today. There was one particular piece of glassware that grandmother loved. It was a glass birdhouse with several small birds on it.
She told me the story about it one of those times I was practising making my paper airplanes saying, ‘I want you to be very careful around that piece because it’s one my mother gave me and it’s very special to me’. Their home was quite small, and she had the glass birdhouse hung high on the wall just between the living and dining rooms.
The one thing about paper airplanes, is that you really can’t control where they fly most of the time. So, after being admonished to be careful, I decided it was time to start the testing process with my latest design. Unfortunately, the design wasn’t very good, and the plane flew right between that glass birdhouse and the wall.
Being only seven or eight, I wasn’t yet tall enough to reach it and I didn’t want to tell her because I knew I could get it down, and, avoid getting in trouble. After pulling a dining room chair over to the wall where the birdhouse was hung, I stepped up onto the chair. By that time, grandmother had looked over from the kitchen and noticed what I was doing.
She said, ‘Brad! Wait, I can get it down…’ Did I listen? No, of course not, I just knew I could do it. I grabbed the airplane with what I thought was the utmost of care when, suddenly, the birdhouse came off the nail falling to the hard floor below only to break into pieces. I knew I was in trouble then.
Grandmother gasped and ran over to pick up the pieces while she cried. I sat down in her living room rocker and began to cry because I knew I had hurt her. Within a minute or so, I heard my grandfather walking slowly around the corner. I looked over and saw that he had a belt in his hand.
Just before he got to me I heard my grandmother say, ‘No Brice!... Don’t. It’s ok. He didn’t mean to break it.’ He turned away without saying anything leaving me there to think about what I’d done.
At that moment, my grandparents taught me a valuable lesson. They taught me, mercy. Did I deserve that spanking? Yes. I was disobedient and hurt my grandmother deeply breaking one of her favorite heirlooms. Yet, because she loved me and saw that I was remorseful, she had mercy on me. I’ll never forget that moment because of what it taught me.
Of all the attributes of God, mercy is the one my faith is centered around. He came and gave His life in my place. I deserved to be on that cross. It was my sin and my bad choices (much worse than breaking a glass heirloom) that deserved punishment. Yet, God, rich in mercy, chose to take the punishment for me.
Because of that mercy, I am compelled to forgive those who have hurt me. I depend on His mercy every day. I’m humbled by the grace I’ve experienced. It’s that mercy that will guide my life the rest of my days. And, it’s because of that mercy, that I love Him back. Because He first loved me.
So, today, I want to say thank you Grandma for teaching me mercy by having mercy on me when I didn’t deserve it. One day, I look forward to seeing you again and we’ll probably have a laugh about that day. I love you Grandma…
Love always friends,
No comments posted.