Thursday, August 25, 2016

First Day of School

I was driving to work a few weeks ago, and I noticed a child standing on the side of the road. He was probably 9 or 10, maybe younger. His mother (I assume she was his mother) was standing with him. He was wearing clothes that looked new, and he had a backpack that looked like it still smelled like Target on his back. I think they were waiting for the bus to come down the road.

It was the first day of school for the year.

There are places in our state that have year-round school, and it has been discussed as an option on our county. I'm not here to talk about whether it is a good idea or not. I'm sure there are many pros and cons. That morning, though, was a demonstration of one of the pros. Here was this young man, and he was getting a fresh start. Everything that day would be new. New classroom, new teacher, new books, new schedule. Whatever he had done the previous year - whatever grades he had earned - whatever he had done that had resulted in disciplinary action, if anything, was erased. He was starting fresh.

There is grace in that, don't you think? Do we ever allow someone to have a fresh start? Do we forgive enough to prevent the past from influencing how we treat someone? Don't get me wrong - I think actions should have consequences. I'm not talking about allowing the one who abuses a spouse to continue to do so, or the person who embezzled to continue to work in the same company. But there are times when we could allow forgiveness to recreate the relationship we share with someone.

Do we ever give anyone a fresh start, like it's the first day of school?

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