Today, you told me you did not eat an M&M while retrieving your after-lunch treat. The smell of chocolate was all over your breath. The lie could not be missed.
I got your brother a few M&Ms and put away the intended treat. You were wilting there on the counter. In guilt and in remorse, you were wilting.
I didn't have to say anything, but waited for the apology. Just the wait made your heart ache, the breaking evident. I wanted nothing more than to gather you up, to let you keep the words. I'm sorry. I lied. inside.
But, Sweetheat, dear darling daughter, I couldn't let the words stay inside. There in your heart and in your mind they would fester and grow. Like cancer, they would convince you of lies about yourself. They must come out in the open.
Out in the open you can hear them and see yourself. Out in the open you can hear my reply and see yourself. Out in the open you can receive forgiveness and love and you can heal the broken and wilty heart that comes from sin and see who you were made to be becoming yourself.
Out in the open, we can talk of missing marks and of great cost and crossed beams, of beatings and dying, of rising and victory. We can talk of newness--new names, new characters, new habits, new life.
Oh, I wanted to gather you up before you said the words, to take the sting away. But the gathering up in the whispered I forgive you. I love you. is pure sweetness. And the lap-time conversation followed are golden and freedom.
And while I promise I will always be a soft place to land, I will too be a place where we meet the Truth of ourselves together. I will always pray for your good knowing that ultimately that will bring tears. And I will be broken-hearted by the paradox.