Justice. Mercy. Grace. Cookies.

Slide1Thursday night is a very special time. It is family dessert night and tonight was Tommy’s favorite: chocolate chip cookies. Tommy’s mother was almost done baking and the smell permeated the house. Tommy’s father cuddled with his daughters on the couch while the little boy embraced their dog Shiloh on the ground in anticipation of the goodness that awaited him.

“All right family,” mom rang off cheerfully. “The cookies are done!”
The children were allowed two cookies and a glass of milk. They savored dessert night together and finished watching the family movie.

Later in the night Tommy’s stomach began to growl. Perhaps, he hadn’t eaten enough or perhaps he just wanted more cookies… Whatever it was, he found himself on the countertop reaching for the cookie jar atop the fridge and eating one cookie after the next. When he laid back down he felt pretty bad – partly because he had eaten too much and partly because he felt bad. Gluttony and guilt weighed heavy on him. Still he was tired and sleep came quickly. (Thanks to the carb crash.)


“Thomas!” his father scolded him loudly, “Come out here now!”
“Did you get into the cookie jar last night?”
“N-nn-no daddy,” the child stuttered softly, cookie crumbs and chocolate stains still on his face.
“Look Tommy, I know that you did and now you’ve lied to me about it. Please don’t lie to me, son. For the next month you are not allowed to have dessert during our family dessert nights. Now get ready for school and let’s go.”
Tommy’s dad was upset because his son lied and because he usually took the leftover cookies to the homeless on his way to work every Friday.


“Tommy, come out here quick, son.” Father called from the kitchen. Tommy scurried out of bed.
“Did you get into the cookie jar last night?”
Tommy’s eyes darted away from dad as he looked down with regret.
“Yes, I did, daddy, and… and I’m sorry.” He softly spoke.
Sitting in silence for a moment his father sighed. “I know you love cookies, and I do, too… Do you know that what you did was wrong?
“Yes, I do, daddy.”
“Ok, Son, I forgive you and please don’t do it again.”


“Tommy,” father whispered, “Get up, let’s go.”
It was early and the sun hadn’t come up yet. Riding in the truck Tommy wondered, “Where are we going, daddy?”
“I know what you did last night, son. It was wrong and you deserve punishment.”
Tommy hung his head in shame. He couldn’t see as the sun had just begun to come up and it was blinding. He wondered what kind of punishment awaited. Mostly, he wondered if he’d ever be allowed to have cookies again.
The truck stopped and they got out. Father took Tommy by the hand and began to walk forward.
Squinting his eyes and straining to see, Tommy finally got in the shadow of the huge building they were walking towards. Right in front of him was a big sign: “Cookie Factory.”
“You are my son and I love you. You see son, I just bought this factory and everything inside it is yours.”


Surrounded – Beautiful Moment


Certain moments in life sometimes seem to perfectly align.

Recently this past summer I was driving to the beach with my glowing fiancée. We were holding hands, smiling, laughing and slowly making our way through the L.A. traffic. The music was the perfect volume and we made this turn under an overpass where the sun became brilliantly blinding. And in this moment so many inexpressible feelings from many spectrums collided in a vast array of emotions. Tears welled up in my eyes. Sometimes things are so beautiful in life there is an ache, but when all the colors bleed together the collimation is Joy overtaking. A sense of something far greater than self or those we are connected to but the one who is infinitely connected to each of us. Deeply and personally, never waving in His love.

And this moment was merely a whisper of affection and a display of the vast beauty He creates daily, for us to enjoy. We are surrounded by majesty and too many of those moments can pass in vain if we aren’t careful to stop and observe the soaring whispers all around. Let the beauty and ache of life resound in your soul and recoil a greatness that can only be experienced through the eyes of knowing God.