Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who's to Blame?

Let's see...
I could blame the boys. After all, they are the ones who were messing around at the top of the steps and knocked the can over - sending it falling into the basement.
Of course, it could be my fault. Since I am the one who put the can there in the first place.
But maybe Elizabeth is to blame. She's the one who invited her small group over - which is why I put the can on the top of the steps, to get it out of the way.
Then again, maybe it's the church's fault. It's because of the huge Christmas outreach that's taking up the entire church building that there's no room for the youth group to meet. Such that they needed to meet off site, which is why Elizabeth invited her small group over to our house. Leading me to put the can at the top of the basement steps, to get it out of the way. So that it was in the way when the boys were messing around and kicked it, and sent it tumbling into the basement.

Er...Wait! Maybe God is the one to blame for this whole mess.

He's the One who sent Jesus to the earth to take the sins of the world upon Himself so that we may be reconciled to God.
Because of what God did through sending Jesus to save us, our church is using up the whole building for this major outreach event - that people may come to a saving knowledge of who He is!
So it's as a result of God's amazing love for us that Elizabeth invited her small group over to our house.
It's because God sent Jesus to teach us about grace and forgiveness, because He sent Jesus to die that we might live, that I put the can of paint at the top of the steps and forgot about it.
And the boys kicked it when they were messing around.
And the carpet going down the steps is ruined.
And the walls are a mess.
And the articles of clothing that were laying on the steps have been thrown away.

Clearly, if God had not sent Jesus to the earth to teach me about grace and forgiveness, there would not be this huge mess going down to my basement.

But now that the paint has dried and I've had some time to think about it, I've realized something wonderful.

That mess on the stairs really doesn't matter.

My heart is messier by far, and Jesus still loves me. And right here - in my face - He's given me an opportunity to practice what He preached: To offer grace and forgiveness in spite of the mess.

How about you? Been trying to figure out who's to blame for the mess around you?
Let's trust in His power at work within us, and offer grace and forgiveness instead.



Kelly said...

Thanks for posting, Karen. Although I've managed to escape spilled paint, I have been thinking too much about the problem and its source rather than God's grace and help. Well timed! Hope the clean-up goes well!

Irritable Mother said...

Kelly - I managed to save the carpet at the bottom of the steps, but that's it. Will be replacing the carpet on the stairs.
And since the wall needs to be painted now, Elizabeth has proposed doing it herself - painting the wall blue and decorating it with lots of fish. She's very creative and wants to turn the mess into something neat. And I'm inclined to let her do it.
Soooo, clean-up won't be finished for quite a while. But "it is well." *grin*

luvmy4sons said...

Oh spilled pain would surely test my Christian love severely! I think it is awesome you found such a wonderful lesson from it. It is after all just spilled paint. Nothing that will last through eternity anyway! Hugs! Thanks for the smile. I think you did great!

jtkpatch said...

love that blog! lol

Irritable Mother said...

Leslie, God was so gracious to me when that accident happened. I was in another room. Didn't know what happened until it was done.
And I am so thankful - because I know I would have gone ballistic and said things I would now regret.
As it was, I stood at the bottom of the stairs - overwhelmed at the thought of where to begin - and God worked in my heart to convince me that there was no need to place blame.
Cuz it isn't going to last into eternity anyway!

Hey, Tarrah! Thanks for stopping by!

Patricia/NYC said...

What a GREAT post!! And oh, so true!! Hope the cleanup goes well!

LOVE your perspective on this!

O Mom said...

Love this picture in my mind of spilled paint going down my carpeted stairs and how upset I would be, then I see my own self covered in a painty mess, and realize what's really important.

Leah said...

Great, great post!! It is soooo easy to immediately look for someone to blame when something goes wrong. I'm so glad that Jesus did not blame us and cause us to have to pay for our mess.


Winging It said...

Grinning and loving this! Sorry for the whole thing, but WOW! for the insight you got and walked out and passed on to us. And to think it's not even done...letting Elizabeth do something with this will be it's on journey I am sure, but PRICELESS!

LOVE this post! Grateful to the Lord for so many wonderful grace-filled Christian women to fellowship with on the 'net!

God bless!

Irritable Mother said...

Thanks, Patricia!

O Mom, isn't perspecitve a good thing???

Leah, this train of thought came to me when I was trying to think of how to comfort my son. He ran to his room and was so upset because He thought it was all his fault. Then I started thinking about how we could find anyone to blame - even my mom, since she's the one whou gave me the idea to paint!
Yes. It's easy to find someone to blame.

Winging It, I am so thankful for wonderful grace-filled Christian women to fellowship with on the 'net, too. God is good to us!

gianna said...

i don't know! i would have lost it lost it lost it! even though my kids are way younger than yours and maybe couldn't have prevented it like yours could have. i think i would have gone off. this temper of mine has GOT to be tempered. (hee hee, i think i'm so funny) but seriously it does.
on the other hand, i'm so glad that it was God's fault that he sent his son to die for us and teach us about grace. thanks for the journey through "rational" frustration to a spirit of mercy. i'm sure your kids appreciate it!

Edie said...

I love the way you handled this.

I think you should let Elizabeth paint it with fish and all but she should include the "fisher of men" because He so graciously took the blame and the punishment for us all.

Love you!

Angie Muresan said...

Oh dear! Hope it wasn't too much of a mess. You're one cool mom, Karen. A cool mom and a beautiful Christian.

Irritable Mother said...

Gianna - Honestly, it was the grace of God that saved me from losing it in this circumstance. If I had SEEN it happen, I know I would have gone crazy.
So thankful He kept me in another room!

Edie - Thank you. And thanks for the fisher of men idea. I love it!!!

Angie - Thank you for your kind words.
At the time, the mess was overwhelming. But now that the paint is dry and we don't have to tip-toe down the steps to avoid tracking paint through the rest of the house, it isn't so bad. Kind of colorful, actually. *grin*

Kristin said...

Karen, what inspiring thoughts. Beautiful lesson in forgiveness and mercy and perspective!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, too. I love new faces. :-)

jtkpatch said...

Dear sweet friend in Christ. My Daddy died on thursday of a heart attack. Please pray for my family and I. Please keep us in your thoughts. If you have any words to share with me please do so. Thanks

Irritable Mother said...

Thank you, Kristin. I love new faces, too. *grin*

Tarrah - I am so sorry to hear about your daddy! I hope all who read this comment will join me in praying for you.
Father in heaven, we come to You today, knowing You are good all the time. We know that even when our world has been turned upside down, You are not shaken. And so we cling to You!
Lord, I am asking You today to hold Tarrah closely, to comfort her in her sadness, to assure her of Your presence and love.
You know her heart and how she needs compassion today, and I am asking You, God, to overwhelm her with a peace that can only come from You.
Yes, Lord. Please cover Tarrah with Your love today.
I'm asking it in the wonderful, powerful, beautiful, matchless Name of JESUS. Amen and amen!