"well, it means that sometimes you can learn about God through others. i see God in my children."
i leaned over to her and said
"or the devil".
the night previous to this conversation my family was enjoying a beautiful evening with some new friends. this was the first time we had been invited over to their home, and the first time i had hung out with her husband and son, and vice versa. we had finished an enormous Indian feast, had talked away the early evening, and were just gearing up to say our farewells. i walked into the bathroom and found my four-year-old son standing in the corner, pants around his knees, with this LOOK. you mothers know what i mean....THE look, the look that is saying "don't look at me" and "look at me" at the same time. the look that makes you hold your breath and steal yourself for the answer to the question sitting poised on your bottom lip....
"what did you do?"
"did you just pee in the garbage can?"
"why?" (no, more like WHY?!)
a shoulder shrug. a deflection. a wince?
there was a little piddle trail from the toilet to the garbage can. i looked inside. full of kleenex and, yes, dryer lint. wet. yellow. i inwardly swore.
i casually sauntered up to my friend, smiled and said "it seems my son has peed in your garbage."
now, i did have enough imagination in the moment to know that very shortly i would be laughing at this whole affair. and my friend was so gracious and reassuring that she would still like me.
but still, la Diable.
the following day my boy was in such a bad mood i was really starting to imagine satanic oppression, but, no, just a nasty nasty cold taking hold of his little bitty body. so, the pee is forgiven and my heart swells with compassion every time i blow his faucet nose or hear him coughing himself to pieces. he did explain to scott later that "the pee was so long, i got bored of putting it all in one place". well, that just makes sense doesn't it? i mean, if i could aim, what shenanigans would i do with my long pees? i obviously shouldn't judge.
i'm preparing to write a lenten reflection on temptation for a journal my church arts group is putting together. i've been thinking of how uncreative satan is (not a new idea), how he only de-creates while Christ re-creates. and how the same old temptation from the garden to the desert still remains:
God is not who He says He is,
therefore He cannot be trusted,
and you should trust more in your self.
all of my grabbing and hoarding and lying and hiding come down to this lie, this temptation. i hope that in the coming lenten season i will be made more aware of how often i believe it, and de-create, diminish this image of God that has been gifted to me. it's amazing to imagine what i would look like without sin. when i am re-created back into the original design for "Janet", wholly reflecting the image of God, wholly beautiful and filled with trust and light and peace.
now, where does the little voice saying "come, pee in the garbage, you surely will not die" fit in? you decide, and i'm checking for snakes under the bathroom mat next time.