“Rainer,” Mother said, “I just planted the garden plot over there in the corner. Make sure you don’t run through it or even step over the edges of it!” “No, no, Mommy,” the cheerful boy called quickly. Then the mother laboriously went up the stairs to the house; she felt sick and needed to go to bed.
Meanwhile, Rainer was having fun alone in the garden. After a while, a beautiful butterfly flew past him. Rainer had barely seen him when he forgot everything else: he had to have it! He no longer thought about the promise he had hastily, but also gladly, made his mother. He kept crisscrossing the garden plot, trying to catch the butterfly, thereby destroying his mother’s hard work.
After the butterfly had escaped its wild hunter, he finally saw what he had done. He was horrified. What should he do now? He couldn’t fix the garden himself. He had no choice but to tell his mother what he had done.
He crept into the house with a heavy heart. When he heard that his mother was in the bedroom, he wanted to go to her. But he was told that it was not possible. She did not feel well at all. Rainer was now even more unhappy. What should he do? He was not allowed to go to his mother to confess his guilt, but he would not have any peace before he did.
After he had repeatedly tried, unsuccessfully, to get into the bedroom, an idea came to him. He went into the living room, fetched an erasable tablet and wrote on it: “Dear Mommy, I was very, very disobedient. I crushed the new plot in the garden when I tried to catch a butterfly. Please forgive me! Your sad Rainer!” Then he stood with the tablet in front of the door of the sick room and waited until someone came out.
When Miss Elizabeth opened the door, he pleaded with her to bring the tablet to his mother’s bed and added: “If she forgives me, she can just erase everything on it. Then I’ll know that everything is good.”
Elizabeth took pity on the boy and carried the tablet inside. – Now followed a few long, anxious minutes for Rainer. Finally, Elizabeth came out and held out the blank tablet. There was nothing left on it. Rainer’s heart was so light now! How grateful he was, how determined to be obedient in the future, because of the longed-for forgiveness of his mother!
This is how God erases our sins. You know that God gladly forgives. He promises those who want to come to Him: “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
The Friend of Children