The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
— Jesus of Nazareth (John 3:8).

"But she BROKE it!!!"

A crime had been committed and, clearly, justice must be served.

Yesterday, and even an hour ago, I might have dived right into the altercation — after all, it was my necklace that was now in several pieces.

But, God is calling my heart to listen. To pause instead of making a rash judgment. To step back and hear HIS heart for me, even in the messy altercations within my four walls.

I knew the picture looked different zoomed out. The necklace was already broken. The criminal wasn't actually to blame... The delicate chain had broken at my own clumsiness. But, like my child, I easily fly into judgment.

"How DARE they..."


The page flutters in the breeze in front of me and falls open:

Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1: 19-20).

Deeply woven into God's justice is also His heartbeat of mercy.
We need justice, more than ever before. The world around us withers under a warped and twisted version of right and wrong. However, deeply woven into God's justice is also His heartbeat of mercy. It's like breathing: we inhale and exhale.

In training children, we hold in our hands the need to instill obedience without a cold, hard, binding set of rules for every situation. We need to exemplify mercy and grace. We cannot portray God without both — justice and mercy seasoned by faithful lovingkindness. So, we find ourselves gasping, every bit as needy as we were at 3 and 4 years old: we need to inhale and exhale.

My toddler snuggles next to me in the porch chair and a cool breeze dances through the trees. Leaves, that a moment ago hung still and lifeless, now are twirling and fluttering in the invisible presence of moving air. My hands reach out as my hair blows across my face. I'm feeling it. Catching what can't be contained.

I look down, and my toddler, wearing only a diaper, is looking intently into the trees. His little fingers are reaching, stretching, eager to grasp what he cannot hold.

This is our calling: Not to have all the answers, but to show our little ones where to reach.