REFLECTIONS ~ I Can Be Wrong ~ February 2009

March 6, 2009

Our daughter, Kelly, was working late one winter evening, so Kristina and I were babysitting our four-year-old granddaughter, Ava. At bedtime, Kristina read Ava a story and then I joined them for a prayer time on Ava’s bed. After kisses and some chocolate milk for Ava, Kristina went into the garage to sew, and I sat down in front of the fireplace to read a book near the warm fire. A few minutes later, Ava walked out and wanted to go to the bathroom. I told her to go ahead and then get back into bed. A little while later, she called out from her bedroom and wanted something else. I was at a good point in my book and out of patience. “Get to sleep, Ava, right now.”

The next time I looked up, Ava had come out of her room and was standing by the hallway. She had her special blanket and the hat she loves in one hand and was sucking the fingers of her other hand.

“Get to bed, Ava, right now!” I repeated with authority.

“I can’t,” she replied, “there’s a bug.”

“There’s no bug, Ava, now get in bed.”

“Yes, there is.”

At this point, one of my own kids might have gotten a spanking, but I have extra grace for my grandchildren. I walked over and gently pinched her pajama tops and led her around the corner toward her bedroom.

“Now get into bed,” I said, pointing toward the bedroom door.

“There’s a bug,” she said.

“Where?”

“Over there,” she said, pointing to the floor.

I looked at the floor and saw nothing but tile. “There’s no bug. Bugs don’t come out this time of year. Get to bed!”

“Yes there is,” she said, staring at the floor by her bedroom door.

I glanced at the floor one more time and saw a big scorpion curled up by her bedroom door. I stomped on it and then gave Ava a big hug.

The next morning, Ava told her mom the story. “Papa killed the scorpion and I only cried a little bit.”

Ava thought I was a hero for protecting her. I felt like an insensitive fool because I almost forced her into a very dangerous situation. The bite of a desert scorpion is horrible for a child.

I try to remember when I get it wrong. I thought the Cardinals would win the Super Bowl. I thought Phoenix real estate would remain a good investment. The difference between being right or wrong about something is often timing. Real estate will come back and, hopefully the Cardinals will too. Sometimes I think a marriage is premature, but it ends up lasting. I may think someone is a flake, but that person ends up being a blessing. I may anticipate a problem, but the grace of God comes and everything turns out well.

I have opinions about politics, marriage, scriptures and life. I share my perspectives through sermons, writing, and counseling. We have sessions with our pastors where we discuss topics like divorce and remarriage, demonic possession and mental illness. We look at what the Bible says and talk about how these truths apply to our congregation. We base our teaching on the eternal truths of the scriptures, yet I remember I am fallible.

I will keep calling things like I see them. But I know we all see through a glass darkly. When that which is perfect comes, then the imperfect will disappear and we will see the Lord face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (I Corinthians 13). The Bible teaches that Jesus is the one we can always trust. His Word is always true.

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