Shhhhh! Can you keep a secret? Should you? Okay, I'll tell you...... For Fathers day this year we want to honor Shane with a special gift. A recliner! I hate recliners. They are big and cumbersome and in my not-so-very-humble-at-times opinion....ugly.
My man, however, works hard to provide for us and at the end of a long day would like to come home and relax a bit before dinner. Yes, in a recliner. I have been saving for several months and decided I had enough that I could go put one on layaway and have it picked up in time for Father's day.
So, one day a few weeks back we took a holiday from school and went to "try on" some chairs.. Papa is a big, strong man so the chair had to have a wide comfortable seat. He is also tall so the back rest had to be tall too, tall enough that when he leaned back his head was supported without him slouching. The girls wanted to be able to cuddle with him in it so we needed one that the foot rest was as wide as the entire chair ~not one that just lifted out of the middle.
I wanted one that wouldn't consume my entire living room... and on and on the list went.
The seven of us had set out to try the patience of even the most sainted salesman.
We had tried several stores but none seemed to fit all that we wanted. Finally, when we stopped at Oak Ridge in Rigby we found "THE CHAIR" and a smart salesman... he sent us back to the recliner room and left us alone. Rows upon Rows of chairs to choose from and finally the one! Every requirement was met and now all that was left was.........what color?................... The sales man had peeked around the corner when he heard us declare we had found the perfect chair, but he retreated fast when the color debate began. Cream was certainly out,~ mom put her judicial foot down promptly on that one but the others were beautiful ~slate blue and sage green,light brown and a burgundy...just enough choices to split the vote. There was a lot of elbowing and good natured extortion going on as each tried to get the other to convert to his way of thinking. Finally,there were barely enough votes for the sage colored one to skim by. Then we looked at the price tag...."Oh! How in the world did we get to this decision and never once look at the price tag???" "We can't pay that children I'm sorry...."
Here is where the smart salesman came in. ~We had been in his store debating for over an hour, there was no way he was putting up with all of that and still loosing the sale..... "Ma'am, they go on sale for 40% off next Tuesday..I can give you that deal today if you like. We have to order you a chair, these are floor models, so it won't be here before the sale starts anyway."
I payed my down payment and told him I would pick it up a few days before Father's Day.
Finally! We were back in the truck. As I buckled my seat belt I overheard Gracie say " I can't wait to tell daddy what we bought him tonight..."
Instantly there were five other distressed voices..."Gracie, you can't tell dad ~ it's a secret!"
I agreed with them until she turned to me with those clear blue eyes so full of trust " Momma! We can't keep secrets from daddy, that's a sin." At that moment, like so many times before, I knew why Christ told us that to enter into heaven we must become as a little child.
When is it in our lives that sin quits being black and white and starts to turn grey? Why at some point do we begin to worry about others feelings and forget about God's? How is it that we loose that simplicity of mind and life becomes complicated?
"Grace, this isn't a bad secret..."I began. After six children you'd think I'd have this one down by now but it always stumps me. "It isn't really a secret at all.."
"Then why can't I tell him?"
"Because...well, we want it to be a special surprise and he won't be surprised if you tell him. Kind of like Christmas ~I don't tell you what I buy you."
"Yes, but you tell daddy!" She exclaims.
Here, David takes over.."Grace, I tell you what. If daddy comes home and says "Gracie, did you buy me a green recliner today?" you can tell the truth and say "yes, daddy I did." BUT ...do you remember when David was anointed king and he didn't tell anyone at first but just went back to work? Well, the chair is like that~we don't want dad to know for a while so if dad doesn't ask then you can't tell him for six more weeks okay?"
She looked him over out of the corner of her eye, it was obvious she was seeing us for the first time as we really were ~ WE were all a bunch o' liars!
"Okay." she finally replies "But if he asks I'm telling."
That night when dad got home, Grace, true to her nature came bouncing through the house and right up into her papa's lap. He planted a kiss on her forehead and gave her a big squeeze. "How did my little girl do with her school today?" I knew she was going to tell him, and to be honest I wouldn't have mind if she did. "Oh, we didn't do much school today, just Bible and then momma gave us a holiday......" they both turned to look at me.
I shrug. "We need one every now and then..."
Dad still had his eyebrow raised but said " I guess you do, every now and then."
With that Grace fluttered off to join her sister at play and I gave a sigh of relief. Or was it? My daughter had just learned to use the "grey". It was almost enough to ruin the whole thing for me.
Child like faith ~ perfect obedience.....it's what I long for and here, I just took hers from her. I felt terrible.
I guess I could use that as a daily reminder... sin is sin ~there is never an in between....I wonder if they make that chair in grey..........