Simple Candy Bar
We seemed to be having a semi-successful grocery store shopping trip. No tantrums to speak of, no arguing between the boys. No one seemed to get lost this time as they wandered off looking for cereal.
At 4 and 6 years of age, I felt we had made it. We had arrived. Like all good moms, each son had a job. Either picking out the item that I read to them…or estimate how much we would probably spend as each item was placed in the cart.
The grocery store music filled my ears as I pulled in the check out line. As I looked at a mom I knew two lines over who could not control her what appeared to be three year old child, I felt sorry for her. Okay, I will admit it, I felt rather smug as we waited calmly for our turn.
The youngest son’s estimate was very close, and the “reading” of product had went well. Not only was I a fabulous mom, I was a super homeschooling mom.
Holding my head high, we marched to our minivan to unload our groceries. All was well with the world. The kids buckled in and I was about to pull out of the parking lot when my heart sunk….
“What are you eating?” I asked in the most calm tone I could muster. “A candy bar.” said the eldest. “I know, I am going to share it with Silas, I just haven’t broke it apart yet.” “Where did the candy bar come from?” was the next question. “Well Mom, I got it at the store” Sam replied.
“And how did you pay for that candy?” I said, dreading the answer. No response, none, not one, not even a tattle from Silas.
“Mom, I just took it. There were lots and lots of them and we were being so good that I knew you would want us to have something special. By the time I decided which one to get you had already paid the lady. So I didn’t want to ‘barras you, so I just took it.” said Sam.
What on earth was he thinking? He knew better! Did I let it slide? If I got out the potential for ruined groceries became very real. I know, I will just give him a good talking to. Then what would Silas think if Sam got away with it? What if that mom I knew saw us?
“Sam, we are going in there and you are going to tell the manager what you did,” “What?” Sam asked in a small voice. “He will arrest me and I will never see you, Daddy, or Silas again!” “Well that is the chance we have to take” I said with a slight tremor in my voice.
We all got out of the van and off we went. I don’t know who was more nervous, me, Silas or Sam. Sam asked for the boss. “Mr. Manager, I took a candy bar but didn’t pay for it. The paper is almost off, but we didn’t eat it. Silas didn’t know I took it, but I was going to share it anyway, because I am a good brother” he stammered with a tear gently rolling down his cheek.
The manager looked at all three of us. “Sam, I tell you what. There was a kind man standing behind you who saw you take that candy bar. He paid for it. He did not want you to go to jail and instead decided to pay for your crime. He extended you grace. While you did not deserve it, he took care of it. Kind of like Jesus son.” And off he walked.
We just stood there. All of us had tears rolling down our face. Silas was crying because he thought he might be taken away too because he almost ate part of the candy bar. Sam was crying because he in his mind he deserved to be taken away. Me? Well I was crying because my little guy had experienced the real life lesson of grace…one I prayed he’d never forget.
Romans 9:5-11 “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Simple grace taught through the taking of a simple candy bar. Oh yeah, the mom I knew saw the whole thing…and with a small tilt of the head and a smile, I knew she understood.
IN CHRIST ALONE
*google image, NIV Bible*