Yesterday the kids made a homemade slip and slide out of painter’s plastic, duct tape and two hoses. They laid this creation in the very center of our front newly mowed lawn, and slip and slide they did—along with about 8 very wet friends. This parent-approved frivolity went on for about 2 hours or so, until everyone was either soaked, hurt or exhausted from the combination of the extreme heat, the body/plastic collision, and/or the multiple trips back up the hill. At the end of the day, when the kids cleaned up the artifacts of their successful slide, they found, to their horror, a 6 foot wide, 85 foot long swath of very dead, very gold, very flat grass underneath. After an hour or so of hopeful watching, they realized that the grass would never revive into its former green glory. And this made them very sad…and very scared…because their father is very proud of his grass—the grass he sowed with his very own hands on the land he cut and tilled with his very own tractor. In other words, Brent is somewhat of a lawnie—which is my made-up name for someone who is anal about the appearance of his lawn. You know, kind of like a foodie—someone obsessed with all things food. The children had reason to worry.
When Brent, who had been absent during this whole afternoon delight, returned to his home that day, and saw his beloved grass turned golden, he asked those he thought responsible for this offense what had happened. The trembling guilty (but really innocent—since they only had the plastic on the grass for two hours—and what grass dies—completely—in only two hours?! We think it must have suffocated.) faced their father, they feared the worst, knowing that punishment would most likely follow. And do you know what Brent told them after he saw this ugly mark on his beautiful lawn? He said,
“It’s just grass. It will grow back in a few weeks. I’m glad you had fun with your friends.”
Did you hear that? It’s just grass! Just grass! He was so full of grace and fatherly love. He was so empty of his own ambitions. And I was so proud of him! What a reflection of our Father in Heaven—who gives Grace when we have messed up his perfect world. Who extends love when we don’t deserve it. Who loves His children so much He gives them free will and lets them haphazardly attempt to live their lives—which means sometimes they mess up. And sometimes it’s very obvious.
God decided to forgive and love and enjoy those slippery, sliding ones He created for Himself. He is the God of second chances…and third…and fourth…and fifth. He is a God of Grace.
I’m so glad that Brent’s my husband—didn’t I get a good one?! I’m so glad my children got to see Jesus in their Dad. And I’m so glad they will be slipping and sliding in the backyard next time.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
As they always say, “The grass is always greener on either side of the swath.” Or maybe not. It’s quite the sight. It looks like the landing strip for a UFO, so we have decided to call it Ames Area 51.
Come out and see us—and our swath—it’s pretty fantastic!
And only for a limited time!