It was just after Christmas and Emma and Mommy were packing up all the holiday decorations. Three-year-old Emma was lying on her tummy behind a stack of boxes, elbows on the floor as she quietly cut tiny plastic pine needles into even tinier pieces. She’d found the scissors amongst the packing supplies and, although she remembered Mommy said she shouldn’t use adult scissors, she thought, “Mommy won’t mind if I’m careful. She likes it when I try new things!”
She leveled the scissors in front of her eyes, watching them open and close, and listening to the snip snip snip as she gleefully cut up the coniferous leaves. Her hair fell across her face and into her eyes. She brushed it aside and it fell into her eyes again. She huffed in frustration, but then inspiration struck. She knew the solution. Mommy had just been saying that Emma needed a haircut!
Snip! Snip! With just two quick swipes of the scissors she could see out of one eye. As she reached for another handful of hair, her eye fell on the freshly cut locks lying lifelessly on the floor. Immediately she knew she’d done something that she couldn’t change. She put down the scissors. She felt like she’d done something wrong and she suddenly felt scared. Mommy would know what she’d done. She’d know that she used the adult scissors and she would see the missing hair.
Emma heard Mommy moving around in the living room nearby and decided to keep very quiet. Why had she thought it was a good idea? She never wanted to use scissors again! Mommy noticed that the house had grown very quiet. Too quiet. She called, “Emma? Where did you go?” There was no answer.
Mommy could see two small feet poking out from behind a few storage totes. “Em?” She called again, stepping closer. The toes of the feet scrunched up but there was no answer. She slowly walked forward and as Emma’s head came into view, Mommy saw her small face crumple and the tears start to flow. Mommy gently asked what had happened as she reached down and picked Emma up.
“Ithoughtitwouldbegoodtocutmyhair” Emma warbled out in confession. She sucked in a breath, and finished, “but it wasn’t good.” She then buried her face in Mommy’s neck and cried.
Mommy hugged her tightly and forgivingly said, “It’s only hair—it will grow back. I’m just glad that you didn’t accidentally cut off your nose!”
Mommy soothed Emma’s tears and assured her that even though there was no gluing the hair back on or hiding the blank space from her forehead to her ear, it was just a mistake. She’d have to live with that mistake, but Mommy wasn’t angry. Mommy said that everyone makes mistakes, and that mistakes can be good lessons.
The Bible is full of people who made mistakes. But it’s also full of examples of how much God loves us despite those mistakes. Psalm 103:8 says “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love,” just as Mommy had been compassionate and patient with Emma! Verses 11-13 say, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father [or a mother] has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” Emma couldn’t hide from Mommy, and we can’t hide from God, but how wonderful it is to know that God is waiting for us to admit to our mistakes so that He can forgive us and compassionately help us learn from them!
Emma’s hair eventually grew back and she learned that Mommy was just trying to keep her safe. She used rounded scissors from that day forward and still enjoys snip snip snipping away at things with Mommy’s supervision.
By Jessica L. Lozano, Emma’s Mommy