One of my all-time favorite games to play as a kid growing up in Louisiana was Hide and Seek. As the youngest, smallest kiddo in my neighborhood, I couldn’t play many games as well as the other kids. They were more athletic, funnier, and more creative than I. They made growing up on that street memorable. They were all like big brothers and sisters to me — allowing me to play whatever they played, but they were just more experienced at everything. The one thing that I did better than all of them, however, was hide — between things, under things, and on top of things. I could hear them out there. “Wow, where could she be? We can’t ever find her. How does she do that?”
Imagine me crouching between the old wash house and the tree that rained down pecans every time the wind blew. No one could ever find me there. I blended in. Before long, they’d grow tired of searching, and they’d say “Come out, Michelle. You win!” Hindsight being what it is, I’m sure they were doing other things, and after a few minutes of pretend seeking, they called off the search, and I’d always feel as if I were the master of hiding.
After revealing myself, I’d always run inside to wash my hands, arms, legs, and feet. It was my routine. I disliked being dirty, but I always wanted to play outside with the big kids. I found that getting cleaned up erased what I had done or what I wasn’t supposed to do. Sometimes when I got especially dirty, I’d even change clothes too. Though I tried to hide my dirty, little secrets, someone was always watching.
Truth be told, someone is always watching. No matter how much we try to hide our sins, God is always keenly aware of our thoughts and actions. He knows what we’re up to even when we try to mask our dirt by cleaning ourselves up for everyone else. We sometimes believe the lies we tell ourselves — If I don’t speak about it, no one will ever know. Just because you keep those secrets buried in your heart, doesn’t mean that they can’t be excavated.
What I love about Father is that he’s so gentle when unearthing and uprooting those things that we try so desperately to bury. I oftentimes tack on a verbal addendum to my prayers — especially when I’m struggling to stay focused while praying. I always say “God, pluck out anything in my heart that’s not like you. Pluck it out from the root!” This is a prayer that he answers right away. Most times, he’ll show me what it looks like in others, and it’s rarely a pretty sight. He’s kind enough to show me what others see in me when I exhibit those traits. It’s hard to see what others see until God let’s you borrow his lens. Today I thank him for his grace, his mercy, and his lenses. May blessings abound!