When a young child sought her forgiveness, Charisse Tierney pondered God's endless capacity for mercy.
I heard the crash from upstairs. I ran downstairs to see a smashed mirror above our fireplace with a golf ball sitting nearby on the mantel. My 4-year-old had thrown a golf ball that I didn’t even know we owned and shattered a vintage mirror.
She could tell immediately that I was quite upset -- and that she had done the thing that made me upset. My spunky 4-year-old who never seemed to balk at mischief was suddenly overcome with genuine remorse. She sulked off into a corner and tearfully told her siblings that she didn’t want to go play outside with them anymore.
“Is it because you broke the mirror?” they asked.
“Then go tell Mommy that you’re sorry.”
And she came looking for me. Around one corner and then another until she spotted me in the next room. I scarcely had time to turn around and look at her before she penitently said, “I’m sorry I broke your mirror, Mommy.”
What could I do but allow my heart to melt and kneel down to embrace her? Is this not what our Lord does every time we come running to Him in search of healing and forgiveness?
This 4-year-old daughter of mine has been a serious Daddy’s girl since early on in her life. It tugged at my heartstrings to see how much my love and approval means to her. In asking forgiveness, she was telling me that our relationship was worth repairing. And I couldn’t help but love her even more. My little lost sheep had returned. My prodigal child trusted that I would set her world right again if only she uttered the words “I’m sorry.”
As I travel through life’s messes and ups and downs, I’m trying to remember the way I felt when her tearful brown eyes looked up at mine in sorrow. I try to remember that I am just a sliver of the scope of God’s capacity for forgiveness and love. He calls us to round every corner and search every room for Him, regardless of how unworthy we feel. What better way to show our love for Him than by running back into His arms when we are at our worst!
And that is a lesson greater than the value of any shattered mirror.
About the Author
Charisse Tierney lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Rob and seven children. Charisse is a stay-at-home mom, musician, NFP teacher, and a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd catechist in training. She is also a contributing author to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion and Family Foundations magazine. Charisse blogs at Paving the Path to Purity and can be found on Facebook.