Monday, January 17, 2011

Butter Cream Icing and Jesus

I love those moments when my kids just "get it". Lincoln had one of those moments last week.

Eleanor's 14th birthday was last Sunday and she enjoyed the most delicious marble cake with purple butter cream icing. On Monday, everyone was looking forward to eating another piece of cake after dinner.

I can't remember what I made for dinner on Monday - I think it had to do with rice, chicken, black beans and salsa - but that would account for many meals in our family. (I really think we should have been born in a South American country!) And, as usual, Lincoln was struggling getting through dinner. Remember when I talked about the Personal Growth Plans? For Lincoln, a big part of his personal growth has to do with less snacking and more eating of dinner. He has been doing pretty well, but it is a daily conversation in our house. So, on this night, he had been pushing his food around on his plate most of the dinner time and we noticed he hadn't eaten hardly anything.

When it came time to cut the remainder of the cake and pass it out, I told Lincoln he had to finish his dinner first.

He got obstinate.

So, Joe did something we have always done with our children who struggle eating dinner. We portion off some of the food, making smaller piles and then tell the child to eat just that one pile or two piles, whatever we think is appropriate. Joe made a small pile of a few pieces of chicken, some beans and some rice and instructed Lincoln to simply eat that one small pile and then he could have cake.

Lincoln refused.

So, the rest of us began eating our cake and commenting on how wonderful the butter cream icing was.

Lincoln picked up his fork and ate a small bite. Joe then reached over with his fork and took a piece of chicken off Lincoln's plate (it was too good to let go to waste). Lincoln ate a tiny bit of rice and Joe ate some more of the little pile. Lincoln stalled. And he was so sad. He really, really wanted a piece of cake, but he knew he couldn't have any without finishing his little pile. But, he just couldn't seem to eat any more.

Then Joe showed great MERCY.

He walked over to the last piece of cake, put it on a paper plate and then placed it in front of Lincoln. He told Lincoln to enjoy it.

And Lincoln burst into tears. And a sob rose up from his gut that truly surprised us all! He just sat there with a broken face, crying and putting his hands up to his eyes.

"Oh, Lincoln! What is wrong? You can eat the cake. Daddy decided to show you mercy."

Lincoln sputtered out the words, "But...I...I...I..don't deserve to eat the cake."

As he continued to cry, Joe reached over to him and gently explained that this is exactly like Jesus! Jesus came and showed us great mercy when we didn't deserve it. Lincoln nodded wide-eyed.

I am not sure how much a little 5 year old mind can comprehend the immense mercy that God has shown us. How we are sinful at the core and deserve nothing good. Yet, while we were still sinners, God demonstrated his great love for us in sending His son to die...death even on a cross. THAT is unbelievable mercy!

And at that dinner table, as we all enjoyed purple butter cream icing, we all grew a little closer to Jesus.


ESolgos said...

I'm glad you gave him the cake! Enjoy God's goodness, Lincoln!

~Alicia said...

What a wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing. Eleanor is my kind of girl liking purple :)

Brian & Amy said...

wouldn't it be nice if grace always came in the form of cake? (i guess we'd be awfully overweight then!) ;)