When my granddaughter, Hannah, was two years old, my daughter was reading a childrens’ book to her about the attributes of God. They got to the part about forgiveness.
Hannah asked, “What does that mean?”
Jasona tried to explain the concept to her.
Hannah asked, “Is that like God puts you in time out?”
“It’s more like God calls you out of time out,” Jasona said, as she turned the page of the book.
Hannah flipped the page back. “How does he do that?” she asked.
Jasona turned the page and said, “You pray to him and ask him to forgive you.”
Hannah flipped it back.
Jasona realized something was up, she asked, “Do you want to ask God to forgive you, Hannah?”
“Do you want to pray or would you like me to pray for you?”
Hannah pointed at her mom.
Jasona prayed, asking the Lord to forgive any sins that Hannah had committed.
She turned the page again.
That was not good enough for Hannah. She flipped the page back.
“Do you want to pray yourself, Hannah?” Jasona asked.
Hannah nodded, closed her eyes, bowed her head and started to talk to God.
Jasona realized that Hannah was talking about the toothpaste tube. A couple of days before Hannah had gotten into trouble for squeezing all the toothpaste out of the toothpaste tube.
The remarkable thing about this story, for me, is that Hannah, at age two, had realized that something she had done, had defiled her. She felt the conviction. She found the relief in the grace of the Lord.
My mother had lots of life lessons she passed on to me.
One of them was this: “If you squeeze the toothpaste tube, toothpaste comes out.”
This is true, but what is in the tube may be unknown to us, hidden deep in the heart.
What she was saying is, “Whatever is in you will come out under pressure.”
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
One day my daughter reprimanded Hannah, for something she had done to her younger sister, Audrey.
Later Audrey came to the kitchen and asked Jasona if she had ever done something mean to her younger sister.
Jasona answer that yes, she had.
“What did you do?” Audrey asked.
Jasona told her something she had done to Heather.
Audrey responded, “What were you thinking?”
Jasona said, “I don’t know, Audrey. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
After a few seconds, Audrey looked at her mother and said, “You were listening to the sin in your heart”
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9