Thursday, February 24, 2005

no secrets

The other day, in my "of clocks and chicks" post, I mentioned a girl named Madison and said I'd be writing about her at some point. Today's the day.

Madison is something else. Often, when I arrive at church, before I even see her coming I'll feel her arms around my waist, hugging me hello. When she talks to you, you sometimes forget she's a kidlet. She's serious (like her mother) and has an old soul (like her mother), and she's as comfortable with adults as she is with her peers. She never fails to make me laugh.

I think the best way to give you a good picture of this child is to post a devotional I wrote about her a few years ago:

Five-year-old Madison is a born leader. You can see it in the impatient stamp of her foot or in the exasperated toss of her Shirley Temple curls when you don’t quite understand her demands. She’s all business--all the time--and always in control. And no one knows it better than her four-year old brother, Gabriel.

On a recent summer day, when temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest rose beyond their usually mild level and caused us all to reach for the iced tea, Madison and Gabriel stood in the backyard kiddie pool. The water wasn’t deep, but it was straight out of the hose and freezing cold. They’d been wading for ten minutes or so, trying to get enough courage to sit down.

Madison sighed and pushed a curl out of her eyes. “It’s hotter than Africa out here.”

She had no idea at the time, but her parents were just on the other side of the screened window, listening (and by now, laughing).

“Yep,” Gabriel agreed, although it’s a good bet he has no idea where, or even what, Africa is.

Madison swirled the water with her toe, thinking. In a moment she came up with a plan. “Know what, Gabe? We should see if Luke likes the water.”

Luke is the youngest sibling, the baby--and not quite one year old.

“Let’s bring ‘im out,” she suggested.

Gabriel nodded.

“Here’s what you do,” Madison directed. “Go in the house and tell Mom and Dad the water’s really, really, really warm. Ya got that? Tell ‘em it's really warm and Luke will love it.”

Gabriel nodded again and started for the house.

“Remember, Gabe--really, really, really warm.”

He kept nodding and kept walking.

But she had one last instruction. “And Gabe--whatever you do, DON’T SHIVER!”

My friends, Scott and Diana, have kept me in fresh supply of Madison stories over the years. They made sure to repeat this one to me, too, and I laughed for a good five minutes. I could just picture that confident little girl instructing her brother on how to pull the wool over their parents’ eyes.

The truth is, we’ve all got a little Madison in us. Just because God isn’t standing right in front of us--visibly--we think we can fool Him, too. We forget that He sees through walls and hearts, knows all the details, and understands the motive behind everything we do.

That shouldn’t frighten us. That should comfort us. Because just like Madison’s parents, our Father loves us despite our mischievous ways. When we grasp that fact, we gain the freedom to be honest with Him--and that's when our relationship really takes off.

Those secrets you've been trying to keep from Him? Might as well hand them over. He knows anyway. And the amazing thing is, He loves you in spite of it all.

"I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night--but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day.
Ps 139:11-12 (NLT)


1 Comment:

At 2/25/2005 7:38 AM, Blogger HerWryness had this to say ...

You are so right. There is a little Madison in me. I'm sorry to say that lately it looks a little more like this: MADison. Thanks for the reminder that God sees all the way into me, and still loves me.


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