Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seek and Ye Shall Find

I was six years old and I really, really had to pee. My sister and I used to ride our bikes to the church about a half mile away from home, to sit on top of the big brick sign and eat kumquats stolen from a neighbor's tree and smuggled in our handle bar fanny packs.

I told my sister about my need, and we walked up the church to use their bathroom. The door was locked. I started to sing, and Esther joined in with me. "Knock and the door shall be opened unto you, Alleluia." We walked all around the church, singing this and trying out different doors, knocking (and trying very hard to hold it). Finally, as we circled back around to the front, a red-headed boy only a year or so older than I stuck his head out the front door and demanded, "What the heck you singing for?" I told him that I was praying, because I needed a bathroom so I could pee, and I didn't think I could hold it to bike all the way home.

He slammed the door close. My sister and I got our bikes and headed home, where I was finally able to relieve myself. I don't know what the story never bugged me as a kid - either that I was so deluded (and impractical because clearly I was able to make it all the way home and walking around singing took valuable time), or that God so clearly did not keep his end of the bargain. I mean, if you believe in the God who has a covenant with mankind and has made certain promises (and is omnibenevolent, sinless, perfect, and never lies or makes mistakes) shouldn't it bug you when he doesn't actually move mountains in response to your faith?

On a side note, I had a card of this picture of Jesus knocking on "the door of our hearts" (ventricles?) when I was a little girl and I remember sitting in my room, staring at this picture for hours, feeling so much love for Jesus. My parents never told me about Santa Clause, because my grandmother didn't want anyone else getting credit and because my mom didn't want to lie to us. But I think I can relate to how the kid must feel when he learns that Santa isn't real.