We have three ferrets that are the epitome of cute. Except the hairless one, but that’s another story.
Our ferrets love small, dark places. They especially like the hidden recesses under a bed—my bed. They pretty much have free rein of the house so when it’s time to secure them for the night, 90% of the time we find them curled up in furry, little balls sleeping in a dark crevice. But there are times that we don’t readily find them. We search their regular beds of choice—behind the cushions of the couch, snuggled up inside clothes in a dresser drawer, under a blanket or towel left on the floor. A few weeks ago, one of them crawled inside a kitchen cabinet and made a glass baking pan his new “crib”. It took us days to find that spot.
Recently their favorite place is under my bed amid a half-dozen storage boxes. Talk about a ferret’s magical maze of heaven! I’m regularly on my face, blind in the dark, hand groping between boxes searching for a furry body. Like something out of a Tom & Jerry cartoon, I envision their big brown eyes watching my fumbling hand in the shadows. I see them pull themselves further into a corner just out of my reach until I move on to the next possible hidey hole.
I remember when my daughter was five, she stole some forbidden Hershey’s kisses. In the busyness of life, my husband and I thought the other of us had eaten them–until I found a half-dozen empty foil wrappers behind a stuffed animal in my daughter’s closet. I can still see the huge tears blooming in her green eyes when I confronted her. It put both of us in an uncomfortable position—her because of her fear of the expected discipline and me because I knew I had to follow up with the promised consequences for disobedience.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like relationships like this. I don’t want relationships like this. Yes, I can help steer my children in the right direction—to relish openness—but ultimately they have to make their own choices. The same with the adults in my life.
The only person I have full control over in this area is myself. So the first thing to ask: Is there any part of my life that I’ve kept hidden in a closet, away from inquisitive eyes? Not really, I’ve pretty much aired most of my dirtiest laundry right here on my blog. Anything else that’s inappropriate for a PG audience, I’ve shared with trusted friends. I admit it, I’m addicted to a clear conscience.
According to John 3:19-21, we should voluntarily come into the light especially with those who have demonstrated love, patience, and forgiveness toward us. Nobody should have to play 20 Questions with us, groping around in our lives until they ask just the right question and find our secret stash of sin. Who wants relationships where we’re groping in the shadowy corners of someone’s life only to drag them into the light? That’s not a relationship. Sure, we can do that with our pets. But we shouldn’t have to do it with people.
I guess the one comfort I find in this is that while I may not find the corner that my loved one is sitting in, God always does because he is light. With a million lumen emanating from his spiritual pores, he casts a wide circle of light in every direction.
So while hiding in corners may be normal for ferrets and fearful five-year-olds, we’re all adults here. I say, let’s act like them.