Two-year-old Silas stood awaiting his sentence. Someone had committed a crime against household harmony, and he had no alibi. In fact, the Judge had seen Silas do it. Whoever said “Justice is blind” was crazy, he thought. I think Justice has eyes in the back of her head. And she did.
Things were not looking good for two-year-old Silas.
He stared at the floor and shifted his weight nervously. But for the crackling of his diaper, the room was silent with the weight of impending judgment. Silas could feel two blue eyes bearing down upon his blonde little head. He knew his mother was considering his crime and calculating the penalty. He knew this because he was two years old, and this sort of thing happened every ten minutes.
He looked up. For just an instant he met the blue eyes. Then he tried to look away, but their intensity held him against his will. With all his might he strained to look elsewhere. His diaper crackled furiously. But that penetrating gaze, coupled with his immanent punishment, paralyzed him. So he stood and he stared.
And then curiosity overcame two-year-old Silas. For this time something was different about the blue eyes. Somehow they seemed to be gathering light around the edges, or leaking it out. They sat upon softer cheekbones and under a brighter brow.
They looked as if they knew a secret.
Then Silas saw the slightest bending of lips. His eyes widened. Could it be? Might he receive kindness instead of wrath? Would mercy somehow trump judgment?
Silas was well acquainted with judgment. He knew it was what he deserved. But what if he didn’t get what he deserved? Two-year-old Silas dared to dream that such a thing was possible.
The blue eyes saw the child’s hope, and they twinkled all the more. For behind them was the memory of a million Sacred Surprises: men dropping stones at an adulteress’s feet. Dead things made alive. Old things made new. Enemies adopted as sons.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.
Silas watched his mother’s lips curve and break into a merciful smile. Where his cheeks had been splotched with shame a moment before, they now flushed pink with relief and gratitude.
This early seed of mercy settled into the furrow of Silas’s heart, preparing a future harvest. And Silas, who had not yet learned how to be unaffected by such things, melted into a pile of bubbling, tumbling giggles. Two-year-old Silas laughed so long and so hard that his brown eyes filled with tears.
And the blue eyes did too.
- Rodents, Romans, and Chiaroscuro:Why We Love The Tale of Despereaux - August 28, 2019
- Rodents, Romans, and Chiaroscuro:Why We Love The Tale of Despereaux - November 15, 2017
- Sacred Surprise - September 25, 2017