My husband inquired of me the other day, "Do you remember the fruity pebble incident?"
Some family moments become legendary; the fruity pebble incident is one such moment in our family.
It began one evening at bedtime: 4 year old dutifully brushing teeth. Father dutifully checking in on brushing four year old notices something amiss in the food pantry as he passes by. Cereal bag, turned just so, opened just a crack, a still small voice whispers to dutiful Father, "Check the brushing child."
Momentary argument, "She's already brushed any sneaky evidence away."
Still small voice,"Check anyway."
Upon inquiry dutiful father is reassured by brushing child, "No Daddy, I didn't sneak into the fruity pebbles.
"Are you sure?"
After several such reassurances, dutiful father mercifully chooses the bottom of the grave being dug by brushing child. Lo and behold brushing child has indeed left evidence of her sin. There, hidden from her sight, under her chin, is a purple fruity pebble.
The fruity pebble incident has carried on in infamy in our family as the moment our children first learned that God loves them, and is watching them, and will occasionally even tell on them. We, as parents, inquire of a living God who speaks to us and reveals to us those things they intend to hide.
"In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a groom coming from the bridal chamber; it rejoices like an athlete running a course. It rises from one end of the heavens and circles to the other end; nothing is hidden from its heat. "
This is the fruity pebble lesson: God sees all...and occasionally He tells.
Brushing 4 year old is growing older - unfortunately as of yesterday she is still learning the fruity pebble lesson. Yes, I remember the fruity pebble incident. Dutiful Father is still hearing the still small voice,
"Check the child."
Deception and lying take many forms: sneaking, outright lies, withholding necessary information, cheating. It is an insidious sin, because it must be caught and confronted. The nature of lies are that they are intended to hide the truth; hence they are notoriously difficult to catch and confront. We catch our children in deception because our heavenly Father sees all and whispers to us the right moment to check. Why does He do this? Because He loves them, and He loves us, and He wants the best for us all.
If it only it were still fruity pebbles...as we grow so do the weight of the decisions we make.
I am grieved that my little girl is still eating on fruity pebble lessons rather than leaving the milk and moving on to more meaty lessons.
I am deeply grieved and prayerfully heaving big sighs as I wonder if my fruity pebble girl will ever see the pebble, admit it's there, and not forget what she saw when she walks out our front door to live her life.
The evidence in my own life that I am born of God is that I desire deep in my heart to live a transparent life, and to no longer lie or manipulate or hide. He has made me a new creature. I want that new creature-ness for my fruity pebble girl.
How many other purple fruity pebbles are there in my life, hidden under my chin from me, but in plain sight for the rest of the world to see? It scares me to think that there may be any there at all. But if they are there I want to know so I can live a life that is pleasing to my heavenly Father.
"Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. Moreover, keep Your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule over me. Then will I be innocent, and cleansed from blatant rebellion. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer."
Scripture taken from Psalm 19. HCSB.