Red Hands

He threw open the door, ran hard up the stairs, and didn’t come back down. The water started running in the tub for a few minutes and then silence. My oldest took the baby and I went upstairs to investigate.

What I found sent me into angry-mom mode instantly. Red paint on the carpet, on the bathroom faucet, and all over the tub. When I found him, he was wrapped up in a blanket crying. That calmed me down a little bit. When I demanded to know the story he unwrapped himself and showed me the red paint that covered both hands and wrists.

Truthfully, I was very upset, and I had to stop talking because there was washing up to do. Have you ever cleaned paint off skin? Soap does nothing. The strongest cleaner I had was fingernail polish remover. It worked and I used the entire bottle on him.

As I scrubbed his hands over the sink, I asked him a few questions. He told me yes, he knew it was wrong and he ignored that voice telling him so. He told me he was sorry and sad as he watched the paint run from his hands onto mine, settling into my nails and skin. Then he said something that took the wind from my sails, “That’s what sin is, isn’t it? When you know something is wrong and you do it anyway.”

So I answered, “Yes, that’s what sin is. But I’m happy to help you get this cleaned up even though it’s making my hands red, too. I’m your mom and this is my job. But I wish you had just told me what you had done instead of making a bigger mess trying to clean it up yourself.”

We had read devotions every morning and sometimes before bed and he wasn’t a big fan. But the conversations had reached him and he understood in that moment.

And that’s when I wasn’t angry or irritated with him any longer. I thanked God for a lesson I could never give him otherwise.

We will celebrate the birth of Christ in two days. We believe in the miracle of His birth to his mother, Mary, a virgin.

However, it makes me even more grateful for the one miracle coming this spring, the Easter miracle. We celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ who took on our sins after living a blameless life. Similar to the love I have for my son, but so much deeper and more pure, is the love He has shown to us. Like the red paint that ran on to my hands, so did He take on our guilt. He lived 33 years without sin but willingly took on our’s.

We are all guilty of ignoring our inner voice which can many times result in pain for ourselves or others. We have all been guilty of being selfish. There is not one person you can look at who is perfect. But that’s not the story we have to focus on. Because Jesus knew even after His miraculous birth, life, death, and resurrection that we would still not be perfect and He loves us anyway. Knowing the truth didn’t change His mind or actions.

The Savior of our hearts can handle it all. He can handle every mess we decide to finally hand over.

And it’s His specialty.

I write this today knowing that even my messy life does not keep Him from loving me. Reflecting and being grateful for a grace and love I could never earn but willingly accept is a gift given daily that is always worth celebrating.

Merry Christmas!

Published by Melody McAllister

I am a wife, mother of five, educator, and author. My family relocated to Alaska from the Dallas area in 2019. I was awarded 2017 Garland NAACP Educator of the Year, and I'm the author of the I’m Sorry Story, a children's book about taking responsibility for mistakes and making sincere apologies. I am also the Logistics Manager for EduMatch Publishing. I've spoken at ISTE and ASTE about equity issues in education, and I write about my journey in my blog, HeGaveMeAMelody.com. Follow me @mjmcalliwrites

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