On Kewpies and grace

broken glassI remember one time (I was in the range of 4 to 7 years old) I was dragging pillows and a blanket through the house and knocked my mom’s giant porcelain Kewpie doll off the shelf.  It fell and had an ugly smash–kind-of how you imagine Humpty Dumpty’s was.  Kewpie broke into two especially large pieces, and dozens of tiny ones.

I can tell you with great assurance that there is not a lot a little kid can do at a time like this.  I certainly didn’t have the dexterity to glue the pieces back together (I didn’t even pass the part of my kindergarten aptitude test where I had to catch a giant ball), or the skill to go on Ebay and buy a new Kewpie for my mom (not that there was Ebay in the 80’s anyway) or the money to pay her back (or, at that age, even any allowance).

I was understandably worried about what Mom would think when she saw her heirloom in pieces.  I did show her, however, and, actually, she didn’t do anything to me.  That was a total “whew” moment for me, because I knew that doll was really special.  As she picked up the pieces, I went back to playing (but without dragging pillows and blankets around anymore).

The way I went to my mom for help kinda reminds me of how God wants us to come to Him after we sin.  We can’t fix the damage our sin has done.  We can’t give God anything to try to pay for what our sin has smashed.  We hurt God and people in ways we can’t sweep up.  So we are totally at God’s mercy.

God is the only one who can pick up the pieces of a sin-busted life.  The reason the Gospels are called “The Good News” is because God wants to put our lives back together!  He doesn’t want to punish us, but wants instead for us to choose forgiveness through His Son.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV)