Sandwich Hands

“Have sandwich hands, Mommy! Have sandwich hands!”

My two-year old darts toward me with his “sandwich hands” and I barely dodge them as they come careening toward my already snot-covered jeans. I lift him up and take him to the trash can, helping him loose the last bits of PB&J from the creases of his fingers before carrying him off to the bathroom sink for a wash.

Sandwich hands. The phrase makes me chuckle.

His own disgust toward the sticky mess on his hands makes me chuckle even more. If you don’t like it, why don’t you learn to eat cleaner, little one? How many times will we go through the song and dance of having sandwich hands after a meal?

And just like that, I’m reminded of the lessons in my own life I have to learn over and over again. The sticky-fingered sandwich hands I shove deep into my pockets and pretend don’t exist until I need to use them again and end up wiping strawberry jelly mess over everything.

If only I’d washed them.

But, people are messy — broken.

And it’s the people I love that leave me disappointed as I assume they’ll never say or do something that would hurt my feelings. And then when they do, I carry the burden of being unforgiving: harnessing bitterness or frustration below the surface, ready to make its mark on the next unrelated interaction.

But Jesus reaches down and taps me on the shoulder. He reminds me of His overwhelming love for me, the love that covered my own shortcomings. The love that says, “You are forgiven and I have called you to forgive.” (Eph. 4:32)

A lesson I need to be reminded of. Often. That love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4: 8)

And patiently, He carries me to the trash can and wipes the crumbs from my fists. And without tiring, asks me to wash my hands — forgiveness.