I have a story to share with you.
It's about how God sees our hearts. It's about why the "sin" or wrong doing isn't more important or greater than our hearts position. It's a story of grace. It's a story of redemption. And it has to do with detention.
Remember detention from High School? The little pink or yellow slip you'd get from the principal? I do because I got it several times for skipping school and leaving the premises during the day when I shouldn't have. I wasn't a bad kid and rarely got in trouble, but I didn't really care about following the rules my senior year, and I ditched a lot.
My daughter on the other hand? Ah, um....she's like the definition of good student, she's the definition of a leader, she's actually an over achiever. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know what a great kid my girl is. She gets straight A's, she's got her hands in 10 different things, has a job, and is admired by her peers and teachers. That's why when she came home a a few days before school got out urgently telling me she had to tell me something, and that that something was that she got detention, I was shocked.
I saved Madelynn's original slip for my scrapbook--she actually asked if I wanted to save it LOL!
But I am not good at scanning etc. . so I went with this.
But I am not good at scanning etc. . so I went with this.
When she first told me my jaw dropped, I was folding laundry and I just stopped. I didn't freak out, but my voice got high, and I simply said,
"You??? How is that possible, what on earth?!!"
Here is the deal. TRY TO FOLLOW ME HERE. She had been in an area of the school where there is open pods where you can study(she had fallen behind on homework for various reasons, and is a perfectionist about getting it done on time which is why she skipped Band). One of the principals (there are 3) that she is pals with saw her there when she was suppose to be in Band. He stopped by and asked jokingly and kindly...
"Now you've got a pass to be out here don't cha Mady?
You aren't skippin class to be studying here are you?"
She said, "Of course not, I have a slip from Mr.Lutz (she actually did have a slip to be out of class but it was expired, it was from the other day, and she knew it. She knew she was lying. She did not have a pass or a slip to be out in that pod studying, she was suppose to be in Band).
The principal of course believed her, because he had no reason not too!
So he carried on and walked away.
Here are Madelynn's exact words to me:
"Mom, I just knew it. I knew that I was lying. I knew that I was wrong. The minute he walked away, I felt it in my gut that it was wrong, and my heart just sank. I knew I had to find him as soon as possible and come forward with what the truth really was: my pass was expired, I skipped band, and I used a teacher's name I shouldn't have
I disrespected the principal, and my band teacher. 3 people I affected, and I can't live with that. So the next hour I went to the principals office and told him that I had been lying! I told him I got behind on homework and I wanted to skip Band so I could catch up. I told him that I was sorry for lying to his face. But Mom he had to give me detention--he even said, "Mady, you know what I gotta do right?"
Then I went to Mr. Lutz and told him I used his name, and said that I had had a pass from him when I didn't, and I apologized to him. And he understood and said don't worry about it but thanked me for telling him the truth.
Then I had to go to Dr. Jacobson, my band teacher and tell him what I had done. And I apologized to him for skipping class. They were all understanding, and I appreciated it but now I need a ride tomorrow morning at 6:30am because I don't have time in my schedule to do after school detention (I burst out laughing here)!!!"
So, here's the deal...I did not punish Madelynn! After hearing her humble heart and how she handled the whole thing, how could I?! This girl never ceases to blow my mind with her heart! I saw and heard her heart and God sees her heart! God is concerned and so I am with the heart. It's always a heart matter. Why?
Because this story could be any kid in school, and some kids, maybe even a lot of kids, would just carry on knowing that they lied and not even care, or bother fessing up. Madelynn couldn't go 5 minutes without knowing that her heart was in the wrong position. She knew what she had done, and not only that, she made the effort to make it right on all levels!!! God isn't, or neither am I, more concerned about the act as much, but the heart! Our hearts getting right before God and ourselves is what is key. Sure the wrong doing matters, it's wrong, but when we can get the position of our hearts straightened out that is a beautiful thing. It's why God tells us that if we hate someone, it's the same as murder in His eyes.
The heart change toward goodness is what we all ought to aim for. Because if Madelynn had just carried on with her day and even the week without recognizing or even caring that what she did was wrong, or maybe she'd know, but not do anything to correct it, then typically nothing ever changes; by the heart turning toward what's good and pure we start to grow and change for the better.. And that diffuses the "crime".
"Man looks at outward appearance, God looks at the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7
I told Madelynn how very proud I was of her and how impressed I was with how she handled it all. It showed her maturity and humility--these are qualities I've been working to instill in her since day one--it's incredible to see the fruits of my labor, and God working in her life!
Thanks for reading my detention story---It isn't easy admitting that my daughter got detention, but with a redemption story like this, how could I not share!?!
P.S. Something really cool that has happened since? The main principal in the High School went to one of Madelynn's class's the next day and asked to pull her out for a few minutes. She had no idea what it could be for. Turns out he asked her what she was doing Friday night. She told him awkwardly, "Ah, not much I guess....just being glad school is out." He then went on to ask her if she'd like to sit with the Seniors at the graduation ceremony, and then be one of the people that hands out diploma's! She was so excited, and had actually been hoping to do this since Freshman year! What an honor!