A baby bottle, that is.
When we dropped our baby girl off at the church nursery one Sunday morning, I realized that our diaper bag was missing its bottle. So I ran to a nearby store, and then hurried back to church.
Apparently, Officer Friendly thought I was hurrying a little too quickly. But my single-minded focus on getting the bottle to the baby caused me to not glance at my rear view mirror. And so I led him right into our church parking lot, which is where he decided to let loose with the siren.
I can’t remember a time that I was more shocked. Slamming on my breaks near the church entrance, I gasped as I realized that yes, that was a police siren, and yes, he was right behind me! To my horror, I turned to see a cluster of people who had been previously getting their coffee and donuts before Sunday School, but who were now congregating at the huge floor-to-ceiling windows in the front of the church to see what was going on.
Shrinking down in my seat, I noticed how the red and blue lights were reflecting off the church windows, which only added to the effect of my burning red cheeks. The enormous windows seemed, to me, to be a life-sized display case for my humiliation.
Obviously, I lived to both tell, and laugh, about this scene of my life. But it gives such a true-to-life picture of how we feel about disclosing our mistakes. It’s not that we think we’re perfect. We just don’t want anybody to know about our faults. We try to keep them concealed–especially from church people, and even from God.
But we’re told that God doesn’t want us to “shrink from him in shame”. (I John 2:28) He invites us to confess our sin, both to him and to each other. And if we will allow our sin to be showcased in full view, I John 2:2 says, “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
Disclosing our sin should not be a scene of public humiliation, but of public rejoicing in what Jesus has done for us. Christians shouldn’t wear red faces around each other; we should have faces radiant with joy.
Everybody deserves to be ‘pulled over’. But we’re the ones who have had our ‘record’ wiped clean!