“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Hebrews 8:12 (NIV)
Last time we were together I shared with you about a wonderful family, the Wade family, and their purpose of starting a foundation in one of their son’s name. Mrs. Wade used the phrase “broken crayons still color” and I shared how it resonated with me.
Today I want to talk about a different truth I got from the same phrase with just as special a meaning. When I think about broken crayons, I either think about our previous conversation of how people who have suffered different types of trials in life have more empathy for people walking similar journeys… or I think about what I’m going to share with you today.
The picture created from broken crayons looks very different from a picture colored with brand new crayons. However, I believe God enjoys both the masterpieces of broken and brand new crayons, because each have a different story that they tell.
There are several people in my life who have colored consistently with brand new crayons. When given a choice, it seems as though they always make the right decision, learning either from the mistakes of others or not needing a lesson in “how not to” do something. They just naturally have a sense of doing it right the first time and don’t experience learning the hard way. And their masterpieces are beautiful and a wonderful testimony of their consistent obedience.
We are in the middle of parenting teenagers. While we have spent years in discussion about right versus wrong, making good choices, the expectations of our household, etc., there is nothing like the fast approaching “magical number” of adulthood to get those thoughts revved into high gear. While our oldest child is entering his last year of high school, our daughter is entering her first.
There have been many posts coming across my computer about how to prepare your children for college, living on their own, etc. and many of them focus on mistakes they will inevitably make. That got me thinking. While it’s important to have those conversations with an 18-year-old child, I believe it’s just as important to have those conversations with our 17- and 14-year old children, as well as modified versions for our youngest. Because let’s be honest. Sometimes even with the best of intentions, crayons get broken. Mistakes are a part of life. Most mistakes can be fixed relatively easily with some sweat equity, money or a conversation. There are a few mistakes that are much harder to fix (addiction to name but one) and other mistakes that involve the safety of your children that may get to a point they cannot be fixed, just recovered from (kidnapping is one extreme).
While I admire the people in my life who consistently color with brand new crayons, I need my children to know that broken crayons from time to time are a part of life. I’ve broken a few crayons myself. While it’s a no brainer that I prefer brand new crayons when it comes to safety issues, they need to know it’s safe to come to me and their dad with their broken crayons – however that may look. I want to be the same safe place for my friends when they come to me with broken crayons of their own. And I want to have that safety to go to others when my crayons break. The picture we color can still be beautiful with God’s forgiveness… and maybe even more so because we can use that brokenness to invite other crayons into a relationship with the One who specializes in healing broken.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017