Hidden & Revealed
Originally written July 6, 2013
Edited October 30, 2020
I admire the creative minds of my two children. They’re not mischievous girls, but they are inventive—and usually very responsible with their talents. This particular summer showcased their imaginations in heightened glory and led our family to a new understanding of God’s patience and grace. Let me tell you how this lesson of love transpired.
Our church put on a fabulous Vacation Bible School (VBS) in June. Every afternoon, the girls came home singing new songs they’d learned during the meetings. Once home, I’d find them playing in their rooms with a new craft they’d brought home from their morning adventures. Late in the week, the girls received a bright yellow pen that had a special light attached to it. The contents of the pen held an invisible ink, and written messages only appeared if you shone a special light on them.
Well, Saturday afternoon, following VBS, I found myself especially tired and allowed myself a rare luxury nap. While I enjoyed some Sabbath rest, the girls entertained themselves upstairs, apparently creating a scavenger hunt. They scattered clues all over the second floor—bedrooms and loft.
Awakening from my peaceful slumber, the girls approached me at once and begged I come and see what they had created. Groggily, I climbed the steps, not quite ready to be awake. Jumping up and down, my youngest bounded ahead of me and into her sister’s room. “Come in here, Mommy! Look at what we did. It was soooo much fun!”
Glancing around the room, I didn’t notice anything different or out of place. “What am I supposed to be looking at? I don’t see anything,” I played along.
Bubbling with enthusiasm, my youngest quickly responded, “I know. That’s what’s so neat! We did a scavenger hunt using our INVISIBLE pens.” Shining the special light across the face of her sister’s dresser, the first clue came into view. I stood there in shock, not even remotely impressed, but not sure what to say. So, I didn’t say anything. Dumb-founded, I followed the girls from room to room as they exposed clue after clue on everything you can possibly imagine: the bathroom counter top, walls covered with flat paint, a vintage armoire and dresser, the toilet seat, their piggy banks, and even the face of a cloth doll. Cloth! “Astounding” didn’t even begin to describe the extent of their work, and just when I thought all clues had been revealed, the girls would introduce me to one more.
When I finally came to my senses, I asked as calmly as possible, “What would possess you girls to do such a thing? You realize this is ink, right? It might not come off.“ Joy crushed, I felt horrible as I watched the light fade from their eyes.
They both lowered their heads, admitting, “We didn’t know what was inside the pen. We figured if you couldn’t see it, it wasn’t hurting anything.”
How often do we go about life thinking, “If no one sees me sinning, I’m not hurting anyone? How is it wrong if no else knows what I’m doing?”
After taking a few deep breaths and apologizing for my harsh tone, I shared with my little mystery makers this piece of insight: “God is like that special light on your yellow pens. When His light shines on your lives, what appears hidden is revealed–not so you can be punished, but so you can repent and have eternal life.”
For our evening worship, we looked up 1 John 1:9. It says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And Acts 11:18 confirms, “….God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
What a great lesson we all learned–all because two young girls got creative with some “invisible ink”! (Guess I’m gonna have to rethink Saturday afternoon naps from here on out. Heehee.)