A Broken and Contrite Heart

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
The sound of shattering glass pulled me from my morning banana bread project with Tristan & Gigi.  I walked out of the kitchen with flour all over my hands to see Izzy running toward me, sobbing….uncontrollably!!
Fearing the worst, I scooped her up and examined her expecting to find glass shards and lacerations.
What in the world happened!?”

She could hardly speak with tears rolling down her cheek.

Im….so….sorry“…. she choked.

Realizing that she wasnt hurt, I held her hand and walked to the scene of the crime.

The day before I had bought a beautiful white ceramic vase at a craft fair and put big artificial peonies and roses in it to decorate a corner of the girls room.  It was placed in a safe spot on a shelf in the corner.  Instructions were given not to touch the shelf and the vase.

And there it lay……….smashed to smithereens on the floor.

What did you do” I flared?

Izzys response melted my heart in a moment.
Im so sorry Mommy……I disobeyed.  (sniff, sniff) ….. I sat on the shelf and I knocked it over and it broke and Im SO sorry“.
She was visibly torn up.
Her face all red and splotchy from tears.  She was blubbering and we needed a tissue for snot bubbles.

My anger passed in an instant and I lifted her on my lap and just rocked her until she settled.   She kept apologizing.
And I kept telling her it was ok.
We swept up the shards all over her floor and set the incident behind us.
And moved on with our day, fresh and new and forgiven.
Later today I found a love note on my bed with “Im sorre i brok the vas” scratched out next to a stick figure drawing of Izzy and Mommy together.

She was genuinely remorseful.
She took responsibility for her behavior.
She sincerely wanted to make things right.

Gave me much to ponder.  A section in my bible study about confession has had me thinking…
Sadly, I dont often have moments that resemble such sincerity.
When confronted with my sin, my first response more often is to make excuses.
To blame.
To justify.
To minimize.
I do whatever necessary to validate my reasons or legitimize my wrong response.   In my own mind I have explainations for sin that I cherish in my heart at times.  I justify my attitudes and actions and am sure that I am an exception to the rules.

As is so often the case, God humbles me and shows me things through my children…..
As I watched my daughter broken and grieved over her sin, I got a picture of how God sees us in our dealings with sin.
Izzy knew that disobedience had caused a break in relationship.  And she didnt try to diffuse it.  She owned it!
My reaction would likely have been different if she’d blamed or tried to hide it.  But seeing her sincerity, I wanted to forgive….to see her restored in relationship….to lavish assurance of my unconditional love.  My heart hurt to see her hurting and I just wanted to mend what had been broken and affirm that everything could be fixed.

Does Christ see the same attitude of repentance when he looks at my sin?

We are told in Psalms,  The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
(Psalm 51:17)

God is about the business of restoration and forgiveness.  But He’s not naive.  He knows when our pat answers and token apologies are birthed out of guilt or obligation rather than repentance.  But when we do get to that place of brokeness over our sin……He’s there waiting.
Waiting to sweep up the broken pieces of our shattered lives and disjointed relationships.

Its the heartbeat of our Father to mend.  To show His favor.  To lavish His love.
When broken and contrite we come, healed and forgiven we will be.

“Its your kindness Lord that leads us to repentance.  You favor Lord is our desire”

I spent some time this afternoon gluing back together the pottery vase.  The cracks are still obvious.  There are pieces missing.  And glue now oozes down the side.  But I think Im going to hold onto it.
Its an icon now of sorts…..a reminder to me of broken.
Of my life – broken and forgiven.

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