"Let's play hide and seek!" my oldest daughter said to her little sister. My toddler daughter shrieked "I'm hiding!" and she ran across the yard with their hands covering her eyes.
After the momentary concern that she may run into a wall while running with her eyes covered, the adults in the yard had to smile. Of course we knew that she wasn't hidden, but she believed she had found the best hiding place of all. As long as she could not see herself, then in her mind no one else could see her either.
As adults we may think this is a silly game children play, but we do the same thing with God. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book. Beginning with Adam and Eve in the garden hiding after they ate the apple, when we've done something that we are ashamed of our first reaction is often to try to hide it from ourselves and from our God. We think that if we can't see the things that we've done that we are ashamed of, then God won't be able to see them either.
The man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Of course this line of thought is as foolish for us as adults as it is for young children at play. No matter how well we may try to hide our sins and our mistakes from ourselves, we are doing nothing more than putting our hands over our eyes. God still sees us as plainly as a parent sees a child with her eyes covered. Rather than trying to hide our faults, we should bring them to the Lord in prayer, ask his forgiveness, and ask him to help us do better. Our God is rich in mercy and always willing to forgive us when we ask him.
There are few places in this world that you can find more joy than young children at play. When they are outside running as fast as they can run, they smile from ear-to-ear and squeal with glee and utter delight. We may think that we can find joy by hiding our faults from ourselves and from our God, but the true secret to joy and happiness is growing in virtue and growing in a deeper relationship with God.
The only moment today when my daughters were filled with more joy than when they were playing together, was the moment they sprinted across the yard to give me a hug when I arrived home. Let's take our hands off our eyes and run to give the Lord a hug today!
In her book Where Two or Three are Gathered, Florence Caffrey Bourg wrote "What makes a family a domestic church is a habit of interpreting its ordinary life - for better or worse - as the means through which family members are to seek, know, and love the God made known in Jesus Christ." This is one example of how I interpreted an ordinary experience from life in my domestic church. Have you had a similar experience in your domestic church?