At the Cross-Bathed in Mercy

Day by Day Devotions

I’d just made the bed and was bent over, picking up dirty clothes when I heard the bed springs squeak. I looked up to see my two-year-old grandson, Bostyn, jumping as high as he could, trying to touch the ceiling fan.

Catching him midair, I put him on the floor, smoothed the bedspread, and regathered the clothes.

Two steps outside the bedroom, I discovered the toddler sitting on top of the kitchen bar, playing with an ink pen. He’d used the computer unit as a step stool to climb onto the desk and then onto the countertop.

I scolded him and put him down, before squatting to push the unit under the desk. Confident any further temptation was removed, I headed to the washer.

Passing the bathroom, I spotted Bostyn balancing over the sink, his feet bouncing behind him. The faucet was on, and he happily splashed water everywhere.

That time, he received a finger-shaking-stop-it-right-now reprimand. I planted his feet firmly on the ground and my hands on my hips.

He took off. Rounding the corner, he scaled the kitchen table leg. Little hands and knees pattered across lunch’s leftover spaghetti plate to the opposite side of the table.

Remembering the water was still running in the bathroom, I ran to turn it off. In the few seconds I was out of the room, Bostyn had climbed down and was scooting the chair toward the stove, dragging a stream of spilled juice with him.

I swooped him up and carried him into the living room, where we sunk to the floor. His over-stimulated, tired body wiggled and kicked while I held on tight, and the tears flowed – mostly mine!

In just a few short minutes, the little boy had added ink-stained hands, soapy arms, and spaghetti painted knees to his already dirty feet.

All I could say was, “You need a bath.”

Just the other day, I was with family at the local pizza place for a birthday party. A half wall divided the private room from the general eating area.

There sat Bostyn, now four years old, on the ledge. He leaned back and propped up his foot. The small tennis shoe bounced in time to the music playing. I heard him tell my daughter, Ericka, “It’s okay, Mommy.”

At some point, we’ve all been like Bostyn, searching out the latest promises for a good time, grasping onto anything we thought would give us relief or satisfaction. Each unsuccessful exploration resulted in more gunk on us; overwhelming evidence that we didn’t find what we needed. Sometimes, we spend years before realizing that the answers to contentment aren’t found in our efforts.

At the cross, our merciful God says, “You need a bath.”

“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.” Psalm 51:1-2

 

Melissa Kirk