Everyone makes mistakes

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 9, 2011

I smile when one of my children calls me. It happened again as I

was ending a conversation with Lauren before sitting down to lunch with a friend. I just had to answer this call from Elise. Well, actually, what appeared on the screen was

Lil Lise, a nickname given by a friend and adopted by me because

I love it. For some reason, Lil Lise evokes the picture of the happy

1-year-old blonde baby who would stand in the foyer, point to her

jacket hanging on the coat rack

and use her big brown eyes to plead with me to take her somewhere. Anywhere. The child just loved to

be on the go. Not one to be denied, when her older siblings were involved in an activity or headed

out of the door, she would run

after them saying, “Me, too. Me, too.”

As soon as I took her call, her sobs stopped my happy memories. “I missed my final,” she began. “I thought it was for 1 o’clock, but it started at 10:30.”

My heart sent out a quick Thank You to Heaven that although serious, it was not one of the terrible things that race through a parent’s mind when a child calls crying. “Email your teacher immediately,” I said.

“I already did.”

“Then we’ll pray. You walk in the favor of God. Let’s pray for the eacher to be merciful and allow you to take the exam.” Without waiting for a response, I prayed as she wept, then said, “Elise, do you know what it’s called when you think an exam is at 1 and you miss it because it was at 10:30? A mistake. I’ve made tons, and your teacher has probably made a couple, too. I’m going to continue to pray that she’ll allow you to take the test. Now, set your timer for

three minutes while you cry it out. When the timer goes off, dry your eyes and continue with your day as you wait for your teacher’s response.”

At that point, it would have been futile to analyze the error. She made a mistake, and for rest of her life, or at least the rest of college, she will carefully confirm the time of scheduled events. I just hope that’s not the only lesson she remembers from the day she missed her medical terminology exam.

I want her to always call someone when she hurts. Only God knows the number of times I’ve told a friend, “Don’t try to fix this; just let me tell you what happened.” Somehow it always helps when I verbalize what I’m experiencing, and I’ve often received treasured advice from faithful friends.

I pray she always, always forgives and extends mercy to others who make mistakes. May she respond like her teacher who allowed her to make up the exam the following morning.

And when someone calls her, I hope she always directs them to God, her Father. I believe He always smiles when one of His children calls Him.

Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.