Speak Eagle

A Warning Against Writing Letters to Unknown Vandals

WARNING:  Be very cautious when writing a letter to an unknown vandal for smashing your windshield with a baseball.

You probably imagined the deed was done by some smart-mouthed pre-teen with a swagger.  And negligent parents who hadn’t taught him responsibility.

You thought you were giving grace to an unknown face, a kid who had disappeared into the masses and never would surface to own his mistake.

You never imagined a little guy around 6 years old with big brown eyes, about a week after the incident, fingering the cracks on the windshield.  Dodging eye contact.

“Put on your sunglasses,” he says.


“Because then you won’t see them.”

“See what?”

“The cracks.”

“Why don’t you want me to see them?  Was there a time I didn’t see them?”  I’m confused.

“I was just trying to throw the ball up here from the backseat.”

Oh.  My.  Word.   I think the earth just stopped spinning.  “Wait.  What?  Are you telling me you’re the one who threw the baseball?  From INSIDE the van?”

He nods.  “And then we got out of the van, and you didn’t see it till you got back in because you had your sunglasses on.”

I’m putting it together now. “Oh, buddy.  Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I was scared you would make me pay for it.”

“Well, I might still make you pay for some of it.”

Shame washes over him.  He looks down.  “I’m sorry, Mommy.”

“I forgive you, buddy.  You don’t have to hide your mistakes.  I love you.”  And then I hug him and start smiling, giggling, and then laughing my head off.

“Why are you laughing?” he asks.

“Because I wrote a blog post giving grace to some unknown kid.  I had no idea I was writing it to you!”

Ah yes.  The stuff of life.   The stuff great warnings are made of.

WARNING:   Be very cautious when writing a letter to an unknown vandal for smashing your windshield with a baseball.  You just might be writing to your own son.

6 thoughts on “A Warning Against Writing Letters to Unknown Vandals”

  1. No one better to give grace to than your own kid! And the grace goes on and on and on…Glad for grace. I never would have made it through life or to heaven without it!

    1. Yes, and no one better to write that comment than you, Dad! Thanks for modeling grace to me when I put my feet up on the dash and stretched my legs out a little too confidently on the windshield. Craaack! What goes around comes around 🙂

  2. That one-two story (I read the first part last night and the second this morning) made me laugh and cry at the same time! I could see that happening so easily in my own household, too. In the end, it’s still a marvelous picture of mistakes, forgiveness, and grace extended to all involved.

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