It was the summer before 6th grade and the first time my mom had ever left me home on my own. I could see the independence of adulthood looming before me, all I had to do was follow the rules:
- Rule #1: Don’t call any friends.
- Rule #2: Don’t have any friends over.
- Rule #3: Don’t leave the house.
Of course, being the responsible 11-year-old I was, the minute my mom left the house I called my best friend and invited her over so we could walk to the corner grocery store. There was only one problem in my way: my younger sister. She had also heard the rules and was slightly more reluctant to break them.
When my powers of persuasion failed, I finally ended up forcing my sister to come with us; cause I was in charge. We grabbed handfuls of change from the bucket on my dad’s dresser (yet another taboo) and headed out the door (which I had to leave unlocked, because I didn’t have a key).
Now growing up I lived on a fairly busy street. There were two lanes of traffic going in each direction with a turn lane running down the middle. Dodging the constant flow of cars, the three of us ran from the safety of the sidewalk and paused in the turn lane. That’s when my sister began to panic. She didn’t want to continue crossing the street, she wanted to go back home. The promises of candy and toys ahead were no competition for the terror she felt on finding herself surrounded by cars going 40 miles an hour.
Determined to see my plan through to completion I clasped her hand in mine and pulled
her across the remaining two lanes of traffic. By this time she was sobbing and I was doing everything I could to calm her down. Within minutes we were at the Piggly Wiggly and the sight of the goodies filling my plastic basket began to take its effect.
We paid for our items (with about 10 dollars worth of nickels, dimes and quarters) and headed back home. My sister had perked due to the treats she was carrying and the knowledge that we would soon be safely back home, making our return trip across Portland Avenue uneventful. Deciding it was best for my friend to leave so we wouldn’t get caught, I made plans to meet up with her later. Then my sister and I gorged ourselves on chocolates and gummy candies, played with our dollar aisle toys and quickly stashed the evidence under the bed when we heard our mom opening the front door.
After receiving praise for how well we had behaved and got along, I headed off to my friend’s house without a shred of guilt to darken my outlook. My sister, on the other hand, was not feeling so lighthearted. Her sensitive heart was feeling conflicted between the pleasure she’d gotten out of her sin and the weight she felt in having disobeyed and lied to our mom.
Noticing her subdued behavior, my mom asked her what was wrong and it all spilled out. In an effusion of tears my sister confessed all that had happened and showed her the empty wrappers under our bunk bed. Minutes later I received a call at my friend’s house telling me I needed to go home. Fearing the worse, I quickly walked home, contemplating the punishment ahead of me and furious that my sister hadn’t kept our secret. As I walked through the gate to our backyard I came face to face with my accuser.
Having relieved her conscious through confession, you’d think my sister would have been in a better mood. Instead, she rushed up to me, pale and teary, begging me not to be angry with her for telling. Brushing her aside I walked in to the house and faced the consequences. My mom was disappointed, angry and hurt. The worst of it, for her, was that I had forced my sister to accompany me across a dangerous street when she was so young. Needless to say, it was quite a while before I was able to stay home alone again.
“Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your loving-kindness remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord.” Psalm 25:7
Today I’m thankful that the follies of my youth (whether mighty or small) are not held against me. This is not due to any improvements I’ve since made in myself, but solely through the loving-kindness and goodness of God.
What things are you thankful for today? How has God’s goodness made an impact in your life?
** This post is part of the One Word At A Time Blog Carnival on Goodness…check out more (or add your own) here @ Bridget Chumbley’s blog.
** This post is linked up @ Tuesdays Unwrapped @ Chatting at the Sky. Emily provides an opportunity for people to unwrap the ordinary of life to find the extraordinary.
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