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Price of Consequence

The Womack kids all have a strong sense of justice. This is a good thing but if it’s out of balance with mercy and grace, it can be downright mean. Something I think we all work to balance at times.

Any time you have more than one child you have opportunities for conflict. With six kids, that meant lots of opportunities. Ike and big brother Hue got into some kind of argument back in the bedroom, I never did find out what it the issues was. I just experienced the rush of yelling and crying children who ran through the house. Hue was hot as hornet and heading straight for the garage. Ike screamed and cried behind him. It was quite the scene. It took a split moment for the whole family to join the group in the garage. I asked what happened. Through his tears Ike cried, “Hues going to smash my matchbox car.” This was a terrible travesty for Ike, who loved his cars. I tried to find out what had happened from Hue but he stood silently gripping the car in one hand and a hammer in the other. I calmly laid out the what the consequence would be if he followed through with his decision, as he refused to speak. I told him he had a choice, that if he smashed Ike’s car, he would be grounded for a couple days. I didn’t try to grab the car or hammer out of his hand. He could give it up or be grounded. We all just stood silently, waiting for his decision. After an excruciating minute of silence, I again laid out the consequences of destroying Ike’s car. Another anxious moment passed as we waited. Hue stood motionless and mute. I finally asked, “What are you thinking?” “I’m trying decide if it is worth the consequence.” That made total sense to me, coming from Hue. I think the few minutes of deep thought helped him to calm down. He did eventually hand the car back to Ike and we were all at peace once again.

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