Wednesday, April 12, 2006

One Christmas a few years back, we were together as a family at Brad's Camp (Jameson). Actually, we have done that for many years now, and only missed one or two for various reasons. A tradition we began the year my father died.

BJ looked forward to this more than about anything else at this point. The anticipation was enormous, and the time there incredible. Honestly, it's hard to remember what we did before this, nothing compares to it.

BJ was in his element when we arrived. He loved being part of the family, and joining in games, but he also entertained himself. Though the details are a bit foggy, I remember being surprised by a knock at the door. That never happened. This was secluded, and noone else ever happened upon our gathering.

It was the Sheriff. The alarm had been tripped in an adjacent building. The alarm was a motion sensor. As we tried to figure out what had happened, I remember asking BJ if he had been over there. "No," came the reply.

We postulated for some time about what could have triggered it. Was the camp cat in there? Had a resident rodent, larger than one would desire to encounter, been stealthing through dark? What were the options? Brad questioned BJ separately... not an interrogation, just a, "maybe he was closer than he realized" kind of approach. "No" to every possibility. We were befuddled.

Later, came the confession. As parents, we teach our children to tell the truth. Not all children grasp the necessity of this matter. Some only tell a "truth" that benefits their circumstances. Others like to see what they can get by with. Sadly, some others just don't understand the difference.

We had never known Beej to lie to us. This was not part of who he was. On this particular occasion, embarrassment won the battle in his mind, and so he covered up his escapade. He covered it up until it ate away at him and he could keep it secret no more.

When Whitney was young, she could not tell a lie. She was a compulsive "truth-teller." Her sensitivity was so defined, and her desire to please, so profound that she would come to us and tell us of a wrong she had done (not lied about). She would
confess to clear her conscience. It often involved tears. Even though we were generally very understanding, her realization of wrong-doing evoked the appropriate repentant attitude.

On this particular Christmas, BJ confessed his indiscretion. In a decision not unusual for boys his age, he was himself in stealth mode, and crawled through the pet door of the adjacent cabin. The reality of his decision was so humorous to me at the time of his retelling, that I'm sure I told him everything was okay, and thanked him for telling the truth.

The fear and nervousness he had before coming clean was distinct. Not that he lied often, he didn't. When he did, there was a nervous little pattern he would follow which included pacing, wringing his hands, and the appearance of talking (no audible words). This would happen in close proximity to where we were.

I am thankful that he was obedient to the conviction in his heart. He like his sister before him, would share with us about his downfall.

As parents, we try to instill this in our children, but the reality is, they often do what they see us do. Telling the truth is about living the Truth. There is no way around it.



At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At one time in my life, I was a compulsive liar. I lied so often that I didn't really know what was truth after a while. It wasn't until I gave it up for Lent that I realized how detrimental it was to all the relationships in my life. Lying does more than sin against our Lord, it destroys trust, it causes low self-esteem and is Satan's way of grasping your soul. I'm so glad to have overcome such a detrimental and sinful way of life. It has been so freeing!! Thank God for his forgiveness and mercy!! It has been 7 years since that time and I still have people question whether or not I'm telling the truth -- but it is a reminder to me that being trustworthy is something that is earned -- I'm still earning!!

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW- Thanks for the post above me :) I started "making up stories" when I was little about this AMAZING childhood I had always illusioned that I actually lived ... it was my way of running away from the TRUTH and the pain of an alcoholic father, the abuse he inficted upon my Mom and my family and the scars that I didn't want to admit that were there. I naturally clung to these stories as though they were GOLD and I too have had to sort through those to let God heal my heart as to what was REALLY the TRUTH in my life! I think there are still things that need sorting, and that is a bit embarrasing to me considering I DESPISE lying. God is SO FAITHFUL ... the truth shall set you FREE! and I am FREE INDEED!

Lord bless you all today!

Laurel Lynn, San Diego

At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greenfield, Indiana


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