My children are trying my patience.
Don’t get me wrong. They are still some of the most beautiful little creatures on the planet. They bring me immense amounts of joy. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to keep them healthy, and happy.
But they are testing me. I’ve got one who won’t go to sleep. I’ve got another who won’t get out of bed, and a third one who creates messes as part of her creative process. Unfortunately, there is no clean up process to match. I’ve got one who won’t eat and another who eats up everything in sight. The third one will eat, but wants to place orders like I’m the waitress at her favorite diner.
Here’s the thing. This quarantine is stressful for all of us. None of us know how to properly handle this. To paraphrase the book of Joshua, “We’ve never been this way before.” And so I let them eat whatever they want (for the most part), sleep for as long as they want, and create however they see fit.
The way I see it, everybody I come into contact with this year is extended an extra measure of grace. The future seems a little more uncertain than it did just a couple of months ago. Our footing is all a little less sure than it was when we made our 2020 vision boards and new years resolutions. We live in extraordinary times. Extraordinary grace is required.
I imagine my children and others are extending that same grace to me. But the grace I extend is finite. About 3:00am, I make one kid go to bed. At 3:00pm, I make another kid get out of bed. The creative kid either cleans up her crayons or I throw them in the trash. I have my limits.
But I serve a God whose grace is unending, whose love is overflowing, who is slow to anger and quick to forgive. It is his love I try to emulate when dealing with people, the ones in my house and the one in the grocery store buying up all the toilet paper. IT is his grace I try to extend when dealing with the neighbor who called code enforcement on me, and the one I should have called the police on. Grace is a gift you get to give and receive.
Let’s let this second quarter of 2020 be the start of an extended grace period. We all could use a little more grace in this season.