Outlaws and Rebels, Every One

"They crucified two rebels with him, one on his left and one on his right." Matthew 27:38

*   *   *   *   *

My 18 month-old boys saunter through the house with swaggering bravado like two black-hats straight out of the lawless west.  Working together they form a mafia-esque crime-ring, a rebellious conspiracy against law and order and decency.  Trafficking in black market goods pilfered from the pile of floor-sweepings in the kitchen corner, they gather on the back of the love seat, perched in the window to inspect and trade their haul. 

They rip the heads off of their sister’s dolls and leave graffiti on the living room walls and every time I kneel to zip Isaiah’s coat, Levi circles around behind me and roots through my purse.  A gifted pick-pocket, he snatches my wallet and phone with such speed, stealth and precision that even I, the victim, have to marvel. 
When one is finally caught red-handed, and placed in solitary (ie. the corner) the other comes quickly to the rescue, crouching down beside him, chattering what I imagine are plans of daring-escape and revenge.  Like true accomplices, though, they quickly turn on each other when caught together at the scene of a crime – a mutually enjoyed destruction turns all finger-pointing and tears when the fuzz shows up.
The other day I watched Levi running through the house with what appeared to be a little shiv.  It sported a jagged, plastic tip and appeared capable of inflicting real harm, so I quickly confiscated it, tossing it into the trash.    

As we lay in bed at night my husband and I hear a “scritch, scratch, scritch” on the bedroom wall near our heads.  Levi’s crib sits just on the other side of the wall so we sleep head-to-head, divided only by a few thin inches of plaster.  We tell ourselves he’s rubbing the nubby bottoms of his footed pajamas against the wall, but as I lay listening late into the night, I think of that little shiv and wonder if he isn’t tunneling his way to freedom one tiny scratch at a time.  I picture him tumbling through into our bed some night, his face full of surprise and disappointment to find us there or, more likely, delighted. 
These boys are outlaws, I tell you.  Even so little, so cute, they have a rap sheet a mile-long.   Looking at their round little faces, their hair all downy-fluff, I'm reminded that we’re all thieves, all outlaws of one sort or another, every last one of us.  We’re all Davids and Delilahs, Judases and Peters bent on greed and self-preservation.  We're all convicted, but not condemned, chiseling our way toward freedom, one tiny crack at a time, until at last we fall through the wall to Love.   

This post is linked with Playdates With God and Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday.


  1. Oh this is so cute and fun. And those little ones do seem to have a knack for trouble. :)
    I am following you at Hear it on Sunday.
    I love your last sentence.
    Freedom... in Christ.
    Janis www.janiscox.com Author of Tadeo Turtle

    1. Thanks Janis, yes, cute and fun and trouble do seem to sum it all up quite well!

  2. Isn't this the hard truth of it all? The wrath of a toddler is a humbling thing and can open my eyes to the roots within me. :) Love your word pictures in this post, Kelly.