I am so thankful God was watching over Jackson this morning when I was not.
Jackson started shouting to me, “I burned the book! I burned the book!” as I was coming down the hallway after changing Lauren’s diaper. I put her down and raced toward him. He had a panicked look on his face and held out his book to me. I glanced over his shoulder and saw the candle I had lit earlier with smoke wafting from where the wicks were burning just seconds before.
I turned over the book, and sure enough there was a dime-sized black mark on the back, warm to the touch. Even though I had put the candle in the middle of the kitchen counter, which is too far for Jackson to touch from either side, he decided he would reach up with his book and rest it over the candle jar. That snuffed out the wicks and burnt the book.
The implications of what he had done hurtled through my mind, and with a pounding heart I tried my best to explain to him how dangerous and wrong his actions were. Jackson knew he shouldn’t have done it, yet he just didn’t understand in that moment how serious the consequences could have been.
Sin is like that. It may look beautiful, like a flickering candle, and even fill a room with its sweet fragrance. Its presence can soothe, and even hypnotize. It’s hard to determine how close you can actually get to the flame until it is too late. Damage from the flame can heal, but the scar will always remain.
Are their areas of our lives that we are flirting with sin, or not taking precautions to distance ourselves from that sin? Are we doing something, or not doing something, that is making it easier for others around us to fall into temptation? Just because we are not currently involved in sinful activity doesn’t mean we are fully protecting ourselves and those around us.
I do think some of my warning to him did sink in, because the first thing Jackson did when we got to story time at the library was tell one of his friends the whole story. He also then explained that the fire could have made the house fall down and we all could have died, so don’t put books on fires.
That’s advice we can all use.