She told me not to touch the Jell-O as it settled in the fridge. It needed time. But I was only a little bigger than 7 and I just wanted a peek. The cherry red shined under the light of the fridge. Was it wet? Was it gel? One finger in, that’s all it took. One finger to discover if the magic had happened yet.

It hadn’t. And I found that out quick as I lost my balance, finger deep in red goo. It came tumbling off the glass shelf, onto the jam and the pickle lids, the linoleum and the pink jelly shoes. And the worst part? She was standing in the doorway to the kitchen, watching. And I didn’t know it.

There I was, unable to hide the sticky guilt of my disobedience. She could have yelled. She could have lectured. She could have scolded with a pointy finger and a go-t0-your-room. But that isn’t what she did.

Instead, she wore calm like a cloak as she moved towards me, a soft look on her face, love in her green eyes – mercy standing over me. And then, she began to help me clean it up – grace on hands and knees. The yelling would have been easier to take. But I would have forgotten it. This mercy of grace she offered when I deserved not-grace has stayed with me for 26 years.

When you know you deserve punishment but you are pardoned instead, gracious acceptance is the only response.

This is Day 4 of 31 Days of Grace. If you missed the beginning of the series over the weekend, you may want to scroll down to see the first 3 days. If you want to have Chatting at the Sky delivered right into your email inbox, click on subscribe and choosing the email option. Or you can just come back here each day. I like when you do that.

Looking for the other blogs hosting 31 Days Series? Here they are: Nesting Place, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, My First Kitchen, Life With My 3 Boybarians, Reluctant Entertainer, The Inspired Room, Remodeling This Life.