I’d forgotten all about it… It was long gone and buried underneath a mountain of memories, but she unearthed it in a moment. Maybe I’m a bad parent for not remembering the lessons of youth? Maybe I’m just tired or too trusting? Or maybe my daughters were better kids than I was and I instinctively know it… I gotta get credit for something here…
This is one of those things that even Christians find to be a grey area. I’m usually an absolute black and white, no grey area, period, kinda guy, but this one I’m not so pig head- … I mean stern on.
I did it as a kid. I knew I wasn’t supposed to but did it anyway. I didn’t do it blatantly, I’d sneak – try to fake anyone out that might be cheating too. The rule back in those days was that only one was allowed to cheat- … I mean do it, and that was our dad.
Occasionally I’d be sneak-cheating my parents and God when I’d spot a sibling cheating too! That was one of those times that the pact of childhood siblings was clearly understood… Mum was the word! Occasionally I’d get busted by the only one allowed to cheat legally and ethically; the judge and jury; the final word on punishment… My dad.
Sometimes it was a cross frown. Other times it came with a speech afterwards, rarely any significant punishment. I didn’t cheat all the time, just sometimes… In truth, as I got older I’d cheat just because I really appreciated the vision of my dad’s focus and earnest.
My little one didn’t cheat like I did, although I haven’t checked nearly as often as my dad had to, but we have all girls… I think that can make a massive difference. Being the dad now, it’s not cheating anymore for me… I’m the big guy in charge now… Although I never really ever thought about it like that.
As our little one closed her eyes to pray over dinner, I caught or sensed it. When she began to pray she was petting and scratching our dog Larry behind the ears… It didn’t hamper her prayer at all. She’s more talented than her dad like that, I guess.
I’m not sure where that lands in God’s economy or heart… My guess is that it lands on the good side. The whole thing brought back a memory that had been buried alive… and now is living again. I also remember petting a dog or cat during a prayer, but I opened my eyes… Maybe the fact that I was still listening counts for something? I guess I’ll know one day. I also know that of all the infractions I’ve participated in, that one is probably way down on the list.
As I watched my little one praying with her eyes squeezed tight in earnest, it reminded me of how my dad prayed… the same way… Maybe God used the short attention span of a boy to etch into his mind the vision of a good person offering his words of thanks to his heavenly Father.
Maybe the lines in a brow worn there by earnest prayer to God is a thing of honor… Maybe it makes up for the times the eyes were open… and learning…or playing peek-a-boo.