My religious knowledge failed me. I went to Baylor University, for goodness sakes … surely my stint in the land of the Baptists would give me the right words. Nope. Nada. I had nothing.
It started with three-year-old Molly on the toilet yelling, “MOM!!! CLOSE THE DOOR SO JESUS DOESN’T SEE ME!”
I closed the door and walked away tickled by her precociousness and the hilarious Facebook status this would make.
But she wasn’t done.
I walked back into the bathroom. She was still sitting on the toilet (obviously physically uncomfortable at this point) and said with a tinge of panic, “But MOM … he’s INBISIBLE!!!” She then looked up to the sky with wide eyes that conveyed her discomfort at this situation.
I went for the easy answer, “That just means you can’t see him right now but the door will still work.”
“MOM. He is EVERYWHERE.”
I tried to go with creationism, “Sweetie, God made your bottom … he’s allowed to see it.”
She responded with an answer I’d been drilling in her head for the past three years, “The bathroom is a place for PRIVACY!!!”
I replied with a comment that I’m fairly sure has no Biblical backing, “Baby, Jesus respects your privacy.”
“Can you ask him?”
“Ask him what?
“TO RESPECT MY PRIVACY!!!”
So we said a prayer … in the bathroom … while Molly sat on the toilet.
“God, we ask that you respect Molly’s privacy while she goes to the bathroom. Amen.”
The faith of a child, even when coupled with a bathroom emergency, is refreshing.
As adults we complicate things by either over-thinking or, ironically, under-examining.
For four-year-old Molly it was a no-brainer; the presence of God is as real to her as the laptop I’m typing on is to me.
In fact, her belief is so solid that she instantly felt uncomfortable when her belief in privacy (can I get an “Amen!” on that one?) came head-to-head with her belief in an ever-present God.
There’s something awesome about that.
I want that. I want to feel uncomfortable at times because my faith is so powerful that it comes in conflict with my day-to-day life. There’s quite a bit going on in our complicated, adult world that should hit a discordant note when it comes head-to-head with a belief in divine love.
We should cringe when we force truth to fit our own agenda. We should feel embarrassed when we desperately attempt to strengthen our faith by weakening the faith of others. We should experience shame when we ignore our duty to stand by our neighbor in the face of prejudice, poverty, or hardship. We should grieve when we let judgment replace love.
The faith of a child is so simple but so difficult for an over-thinker like me. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know all the whys. I don’t even fully understand where this story is going to end. And while there’s definitely a time for seeking and questioning, there’s also a time to just stop and take a moment to believe.
May you all find moments to sit in the certainty of love and, of course, find privacy in your bathrooms.