The behavior chart. A wonderful motivator for teachers, an anxiety attack for parents who were once that kid. That kid who had to follow every rule, who was afraid to speak out of turn or move in any way that might be perceived as squirming or disobedience. Luckily my children do not live in the same dread of the behavior chart, that blatant ladder of clothespins moving up and down. Sure they want to land on a good color, or at least in the middle ground. We all do. But they are not owned by the fear of the dreaded Purple or blue rungs of the chain, Think About and Call your mother. I cannot say the same for this recovering perfectionist who reads her own feelings and fears into the daily report that gives the colored verdict.  I was and am still that kid in rehab.


But then there is another type of that kid. That kid who I used to think was out of control, who landed in the guilty lower rungs nearly every day. That kid who just needs to get his act together.

God must be slowly eroding this law-abiding heart into a heart that is beginning to grasp grace. Because when I was at the boys’ chapel at school on Friday, I saw that kid with different eyes.

He couldn’t sit still, he was distracting and obnoxious. He got pulled from his seat and taken to the seat of shame next to the teacher. My guttural response was to be relieved that my child who was sitting right next to him was not joining in on the shannanigans. But as I watched him, my heart began to ache for him, began to be disgusted by my initial response. I left that chapel and couldn’t shake off the tears.

I wanted to cry buckets for him whose identity will be judged by his ability to behave. I wanted to cry buckets for those who, like me, for so long have thought that God’s love for them was dependent upon behavior, upon landing on the top of the chart. I thought of how Jesus wept on earth for that which was so broken, so deeply flawed. I thought of how He now can only weep through us, His people.


I’ve buckets of tears to cry
But I need to use your eyes.
When I was on earth I cried,
Bur now I sigh yours sighs.

To weep as for me,
You must see as I see.

See the ones tired of trying,
Souls worn down by the ought.
Weep for their exhaustion,
For that is not what I taught.

To weep as for me,
You must see as I see

See the ones bruised and burned
by a Church stripped of me.
Weep for their disenchantment
For only Truth will set them free.

To weep as for me,
You must see as I see.

See the ones stuck in inheritance,
Trapped by those gone before.
Weep for the generational ruins,
For which I am on the only cure.

To weep as for me,
You must see as I see

Weep, my child, weep for the world,
So broken, so lonely, so impure.
Weep buckets for me now, my child,
For on my shore tears cease forevermore.

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