Nearing the end of the last stop on my one-to-many-errands-with-three-small-children-in-tow list, Addie, my six year old, decided it was time to play hide and seek.
With patience worn paper thin from sheer mental exhaustion as well as the insomnia of the night before, all patience and pretense was as spent as my very empty bank account. Making a scene wasn’t even an afterthought as I began to shout her name throughout the moderately crowded aisles of the store.
“Addie! Where are you?!”
Diligently searching every last aisle while carrying a giggling four year old and half-answering an inquisitive eight year old who repeatedly informed me it was time to call the police, minutes felt like hours as every Amber Alert I’d ever seen played like a horror film in the back of my mind. I began to look at people, cars outside, suspicious bumper stickers, employees. I’m sure I felt time stop as everyone and no one saw me in my desperation.
Finally, in the moment just before full blown panic took over, an accomplished, smirking Addie emerged from her well-planned nook.
After attempting to restore proper oxygen and blood flow in my anxiety ridden body, and holding back the temptation to use my last stitch of physical energy to discipline mid-supermarket, I responded.
With smuggish smile she folded her arms and stood still.
“Addie Elaine. Come here, now!”
She sat down on the dirty floor mid-aisle.
The gig was up. Placing my squirming four year old down and hoping to God she wouldn’t follow suit, I walked towards Addie, took them both firmly by the hand and attempted to purchase what no longer seemed to be necessities. Realizing I’d left my bank card in a jacket at home, I exited the store with only, but thankfully, the cargo I had entered with.
Once the seat belts were all buckled and I began to recollect what on earth just went wrong, I was wrecked by the revelation of my own heart and the realization that I am Addie.
I am the one who hides defiantly as my Father seeks me diligently. I am the little girl with the rebellious smile who sits down across the room when he calls me to come stand next to him. I am the liar who denies my own deviant dereliction. I am the insurgent who disregards the voice of my Daddy to the place where he must drag me out of my improper position kicking and screaming.
I start the car and I hear him.
“Come here, Lori.”
I emerge from my hiding place and with grateful tears I finally come.
“Forgive me, Father. I know not what I do.”
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” ~Genesis 3:8-10