I lied once and only once…to my dad.
It started out innocent enough. The stamp was in my hand. There was bright ink on it. And, my sister was right there like a canvas waiting to be used. It was too perfect! Too tempting! Too much for my little six year old impulse to endure.
I stamped her everywhere and enjoyed it. I giggled and stamped, and giggled and stamped.
And then I heard it. Someone was coming (and by someone I mean mom or dad), so I quickly dropped the stamp in between us. The question came next. You know the question, “who did that?”
I want to tell you I was noble, that I stood upright and admitted all wrongdoing and humbly took my punishment. But that would be another lie. Instead, I hung my head and pointed, selling out my 3 year old baby sister. My dad responded as all parents do with, “Are you sure?” Which I emphatically confirmed with a repetitious yes head nod.
The wise father that he was said, “ok,” and continued walking newspaper in hand to the bathroom.
The moment he left the room it happened. My lip started quivering. My body started trembling. The tears started flowing. I was caught between the fear of what would happen once I told the truth and knowing that it was the right thing to do.
and I waited
and I waited (he had the newspaper, after all).
Each moment that I waited, the quivering, trembling, and crying grew. My fear was caught in my stomach, in my throat, in my head.
I slowly inched toward the door. I just kept looking at it, trying to decide. It was taking forever and I couldn’t take it.
Finally, I knocked!
I heard through the door a, “yes,” and then I let it fly, a 6 year old rambling confession of all I had done wrong.
You see, although, I feared the response of my dad, I trusted in his love for me in the midst of that response.
My dad patiently listened on the other side of the door. He asked if he could finish his business and then we could talk. And, again I waited, but this time with a little more peace. I sat right outside the door where he could see me first thing.
When he opened the door it wasn’t with a scowl, a furrowed brow, or a mad posture. He opened it with a smile. He gently lifted me up and walked me to “our” chair and we talked. There were consequences. I would lose my stamps and, with his help, I would clean up my baby sister, but I never lost his Love.
That day happened so long ago, yet it still impacts me. I remember feeling his genuine love, his patience and kindness. It taught me the value of honesty and truth. And, it created in me a desire to make my dad proud instead of disappointed.
But this week it carried new significance, because this week when it came to remembrance it brought a new understanding. This week I realized that that one moment with my earthly father pointed me directly to my heavenly father. I can and do come to him a trembling, quivering child with much to confess and make right.
I fear the response of my Father, yet I trust in him.
I set waiting for a response.
He opens the door.
He picks me up.
And, His response is love.