Wiping it away

Our lives are filled with amazing and wonderful technological devices.  My children have access to smart phones and tablets and video game systems and all kinds of time consuming contraptions.  However, there is one thing that simply fascinates them like nothing else … a dry erase board.  There are two in my office and almost every time one of my kids is in there, or many of my adult friends, they are itching to write, doodle, erase, scribble, or all of the above.  There is something about the ability to wipe off the writing so cleanly and just start again that draws their focus.  Go ahead, admit it, you all love to write on them as well.  We all do.

Today as my son was begging to draw on my office mate’s dry erase board, I was thinking of an object lesson I used to use when I taught preschool.  Forgiveness is a tough concept for preschoolers to comprehend.  They get saying sorry and they understand someone not being mad at them anymore for doing something wrong, but they can’t really wrap their minds around the idea of accepting and letting go of whatever hurt someone.  I think that biggest part of it is not being able to fully understand the concept of what is wrong – they often do what they feel is best for themselves without thinking through the consequences to anyone else.

I would have the kids tell me things that they knew to be bad or wrong, and we would write or draw them on the marker board.  The list would be things like hitting, telling lies, not listening to mom and dad, breaking things, not sharing, and the like.  After the board was filled with all of the bad things they could think of, we would talk about what forgiveness meant and how God forgives us.  Then one by one, we would erase the bad things from the board as we talked about how God erases those from his memory when he forgives us.  Each of these children, having all played with dry erase boards before, would shine when the light bulb went on in their head getting this new picture of forgiveness.  It was simple concept, but was so much more tangible to them.

The Bible tells us in Acts 3:19, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”  Wiped out.  Wiped away.  I think of all the little things I do wrong every day and how God brushes them off the marker board of my life so easily.  Then I think of all the bigger pictures of sin that I intricately draw in my life story and how God still wipes them away time after time and day after day.  No matter how many marks and scribbles I make all over my board, He erases them completely and lets me start each day anew, refreshed.

Erasing every day,

Dina Newsom


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