Napkins, Salt Shaker and Imputed Righteousness


Both my daughters sat across from me crying for different reasons. The baby had given up on the lunch, wanted to get down from the high chair and move on. The big sister couldn’t move on from last week’s placement test and demanded a re- do. I sat there between two crying daughters, staring at the jar of baby food, apple sauce, napkins, and the salt shaker coaxing one from moving on and the other to move on.


Her reasons were valid — she was less prepared while she took the placement test, and hence not happy with how she performed, she wanted to show me she could do better. Normally I would be the happiest mom if one of my children shows this much responsibility to fix something but something told me this time that I needed to see through the grievance into her heart.

I could see through to the perfection that was already budding, I could see through to the performance (she and I don’t like that word) she relied on to make her lovable and I could see it because I, her mom was a recovering master at it. I took the shaker in my hand and showed her the napkin covering the shaker and the gospel of imputed righteousness was forming in my heart.

“The shaker is you. It has black spots, it has marks, it has hand smudges. Imagine this napkin to be the righteousness that covers the salt shaker and does not let any of these marks to be seen. This is how God sees you no matter what grade you got. This is how I love you no matter where you are standing. I do want you to work hard and be faithful, but once it is done, I want you to trust in the righteousness of God—the white (napkin) covering that is on you and not in how well you can go back and re-do. Sometimes re-do’s are available, but most time life has to move on by daring to trust the love of God that he gave in the covering of Jesus.”

My noise tolerance was at it’s peak with both my daughters trying to speak thru their wailing. I was speaking over them so I could get their attention. I put the baby down, glad someone wanted to move on and proceeded to tell my daughter the story of Mephibosheth. The table setting was perfect for this story that happened at the table of king David.

David had made a covenant with his best friend Jonathan that he would be merciful to the household of Jonathan. David was running away from Jonathan’s father King Saul. After Saul died, David came back from the wilderness to become the king. At this time David asked,

 “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Sam 9:1

They told him about Mephibosheth who was a son of Jonathan who had suffered a fall in infancy when the nurse accidentally dropped him while escaping the enemy. He was lame in both his feet. David proceeded to bring Mephibosheth to Jerusalem and restored to him all that belonged to King Saul and to all his house. That was not all.

And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” 2 Sam 9:7

This is the picture of imputed righteousness. The hurt of the fall that crippled you and made you lame could be excruciating. The pain is unjust and will always linger in your life as an unwelcome visitor from the past. Unfortunate incidents happen in life. The nurse’s intention was to flee to safety, but the fall that shouldn’t have happened…somehow happened. Sometimes, we cannot go back and fix what happened when fall was suffered regardless of good intentions, and we find ourselves not able to make peace with the crippling that we suffer.

I am sure when Mephibosheth was at the table of the king, the table cloth must have covered his lameness. The time he spend at the table sitting down, he was covered and no one saw the crippled, lame feet. Mephibosheth was served and waited on by the king’s servants. He was the kings guest. The king’s honor was on him and no one would tell him he was lame. He was seen special in the king!

My daughters, there will be time when there are no re-do’s but we walk around lame. From time to time, our crippled feet will visit us with painful reminders of someone dropping us. It is by no means fair. We need to visit the king’s table often and allow ourselves to feast with not only what we can see at the table but also with how we are seen at the table.

knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

No blemish. No spot. Perfectly Covered.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor 5:21

We are covered, we are loved, we can move on.



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