I came home the other night. The curtains in the livingroom were askew. I waited for the story.
My husband told me they accidentally were torn down. He imitated my youngest, voice and all, “Daddy, I’m sorry! Pleeeeeease don’t tell Moooooommmmyyy!” We had a good laugh and then went on with our evening.
That statement, however, has stuck with me. I know, logically, my dear 5 year old was simply avoiding punishment for whatever behavior led to the curtains crashing. What kid wants to get in trouble when he can avoid it? My heart, however illogical, was a bit hurt by this.
Why wouldn’t he want me to know? Is he afraid of me? I once thought it was better to be feared then loved. I would joke about my kids being afraid of me. Now I am not so sure.
Not telling me is a way to avoid accountability. Therefore, they must not see accountability in a good way. Or I have been too harsh and the accountability I provide is too tough. Either way, it is a withdrawing from relationship.
Lately, I have been practicing a “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy with God. If I don’t ask Him anything then He won’t tell me where I need to grow. The curtains of my spiritual life are hanging crooked in some corners. I have, for a long time, pretended He wouldn’t notice.
The thing is, just as I saw the unevenness as soon as I walked in the room, so too God sees the unevenness of my faith and devotion. Rather than hide from me or withdraw, as my children have done with me, He comes running closer.
Take the parable of the Prodigal Son. The Father runs across the field and meets his son with open arms. The son doesn’t even have to confess to his sins before the Father is placing the ring of authority on his hand and wrapping his wearied shoulders in a new robe.
Technically, I don’t have to tell Father God anything. He already knows everything because of that omniscient gift of His. I don’t have to tell, but that doesn’t mean He stops asking.
In fact, He keeps asking. He keeps reaching out, in small and large ways. He tries to get my attention and runs towards me when I am only able to do halting baby steps. He stands ready, at anytime, at every time, to embrace me and place a new robe upon my wearied shoulders.
I straightened those curtains. I also had a conversation with my sons about loving them even when they make a mistake or a bad decision.
I started to ask and to tell Father God all the things in my heart. My curtains aren’t straight yet, however, I can feel His hand reaching to tuck them back into place.