Today I found my little girl Emy in the kitchen, under the counter behind the potatoes & carrots, her face full of fear & shame, hiding from me. I was focused on her, confused about what she was doing there with the vegetables and why she looked so scared, but behind me I could hear the other children shouting accusations about my blanket being torn by the little girl in front of me. I asked her what happened and she started crying, crying, crying, harder than I’ve ever seen her cry. I knelt down with her, my hands on her arms, and started to tell her over and over again, “Emy it’s okay, it’s just a blanket and it was an accident, it’s okay honey I’m not mad at you, it’s okay..” but still it took her a long time to actually listen to me and understand that I wasn’t angry.
I think I was most confused because I don’t freak out on these kids. There are plenty of things I am not so great at when it comes to parenting, but patience… it’s like my thang. So I was really troubled by the fact that she was so afraid of me. I was like, who does she think I am??
Later I held her and began to remember once when I was a little girl and I decided to try a gymnastics move on the towel rack in my Grampa & Gramma’s bathroom. I survived but the towel rack didn’t.. haha, and I remember my shock & fear, I was going to be in such big trouble! I remember hiding under my Gramma’s bed, curled up tight next to a puzzle she was working on, hot and sticky against the carpet. I know I was there for quite awhile before my Gramma found me, tears all over my little face. But I remember she wasn’t angry with me, she just coaxed me out from under that bed and the towel rack was never even spoken of.
And I’m thinking my Gramma felt how I felt, like “Why on earth are you hiding from me, Babygirl? I love you so much more than a blanket.” And I’m thinking maybe God felt the same way that day when She went walking in the garden, and found Adam & Eve hiding in the bushes with their shame, their nakedness covered in fig leaves. I think if God was angry She was angry at the chasm that apple tore between Himself & His children, but I think He looked at them the same way I looked at Emy and my Gramma looked at me, with a face full of love but so sad they felt the need to hide. Like, “Why are you so afraid of me children, who do you think I am?? I will love you forever and there is nothing you can do that will make me love you any less.”
So I’m trying not to hide anymore.
Not from God. Not from those around me.
I’m trying to come out from behind the potatoes & carrots, out from under the bed, out from behind the bushes… to make a return towards that Eden life: naked & unashamed.
Lately I’ve been more open & honest with the people in my life, and you know what? It’s an amazing thing, to realize you can show the nasty parts of yourself and there will be people who love you anyway, and maybe even people who love you even more. And I’ve been cruel towards God these past few months because I’ve felt He’s been cruel to me… and I was hiding from Her behind the armor of my anger when one day I decided to let all that battle wear fall off of me and I said, “Here I am God. Here I really, really am. I’m sorry for being such a bitch and actually I do really still love you.” And you know what I feel? I feel the arms of my MotherFather God wrapped tight around me still, because He is not angry with me, and because of Her gracious gracious Love I have nothing to be ashamed of.