I could hear a crinkle of rustling coming from somewhere, but I couldn’t locate the origin of the sound. Believing it was possible that I was tired or that my mama-ears were over-stimulated, I walked past the dining room table and into the kitchen. As I started to unload the dishwasher, I heard the sound again. Stopping, with a stack of colored bowls in my hand, I waited for the sound. Immediately, the sound stopped. Becoming slightly worried that I was having an auditory hallucination (insert: therapist fear), I continued to unload and put away. And just as immediately as I began my task, the sound began again. Plopping the clean dishes on the counter, I immediately went back to the dining room table to listen more closely.
Is it a rodent on the roof?
Is it a rodent in the walls?
Is it a rodent in my mind?
My mind went to all of the rodent-places!
As I stood at the base of the table, I heard it again. And because I was closer to the sound, I was able to identify that the sound was lower…seemingly closer to the ground. Crouching onto the floor, I went to place my ear on the carpet. As I placed my ear to the ground, a splash of pink flashed in my peripheral. And sure enough, the crinkling sound was indeed coming from a “rug-rodent”…only this rodent donned a blonde bob, big-blue eyes, and pink tube socks.
Upon further eye inquiry, I found our little girl to be holding a stash of foiled-wrapped chocolates in the palm of her hand with a streak of chocolate on the side of her mouth.
“Evie, what are you doing?”
Immediately, she cowered within herself, willing herself to disappear into the floorboards of the dining room. With her head hung and her eyes averted, she squeezed her hand tighter.
Again, I asked, “Evie, why are you hiding under the table?”
And again, she shrugged her shoulders and buried her head.
“Evie, are you hiding under the table because you are eating chocolate and you didn’t ask?”
With big eyes full of tears, she nodded her head in agreement.
“Evie, if you wanted a piece of chocolate you could have asked. Mommy doesn’t want you to take and hide.”
Understanding her choice and recognizing the deceit of her decision, she dropped the chocolates to the floor.
Grabbing her little body and pulling her into my lap, I explained (in a way that made sense to her little mind) that anytime we have to hide to enjoy something, we aren’t really living free. And anytime we aren’t living free, we really aren’t experiencing genuine, long-lasting enjoyment.
In short, I explained that there is bondage in hiding.
And when we talked about how she would feel eating the chocolate in the presence of me, as opposed to eating the chocolate hidden by herself, it made sense to her little soul that though eating chocolate in a hidden place still tastes good, it doesn’t feel very free.
Climbing out from under the table, I offered a piece of the dropped chocolate and asked her to eat in freedom.
With a smile the size of Ohio (because we don’t live in Texas, folks), she enjoyed that chocolate in a way she couldn’t when she was eating it hidden.
And as I climbed up off of that floor (partly satisfied that I was not experiencing any auditory hallucinations), I was entirely reminded of the beauty and enjoyment of living free.
Soul, I don’t know what tempting pleasure is enticing you to enjoy its presence in hidden bondage, but I can assure you that NOTHING is truly pleasurable when eaten and experienced from a jail cell.
No sexual pleasure…
No hidden relationship…
No silent addiction…
No forbidden evil…
Friends, the enemy seeks to chain, but Christ came to set us free!
May we never revert back to the yoke of slavery, exchanging the Truth for the lie that forbidden fruit will ever, EVER set us free. For truly, forbidden fruit leads us to the shackles of death and out of Eden, but freedom fruit leads us to the abundance of life and into His presence.
May we resist the urge to choose pleasures apart from His approving permission and present eye, and may we trust that it is better to live in freedom with His “no” than it is to live in bondage to our “yes.”
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2:14-15