On one of these occasions, they wandered off the square to
visit a shoe repair shop to have a pair of shoes resoled. Yes,
there was a time when new soles were put on old shoes.
While the mother was conducting her business, a pocketknife
display case caught the boy's attention. Looking in the case, he
was immediately mesmerized by a slick-looking, white-handled
pocketknife with a subtle reverse curve. It was the most
gorgeous knife ever. The white pearl said, "Touch me"; the
glistening chrome said, "Take me home." But was there a chance
his parents would ever allow him to have this knife? A slim
The knife captured his entire attention. Then, he saw a
button on the side of the knife and realized it was a
SWITCHBLADE. His heart was beating so hard the pounding sound
had to be audible. No other knife could be any more desirable.
Now the agony and the ecstasy set in. Being a switchblade
made it the most coveted thing in the world, but it also made it
unattainable, because his father would never allow him to have
it. So... with the obsession, a plot began to be formed.
The next time they went to town, the boy volunteered to go to
the shoe repair shop to pick up the repaired shoes. Elation had
to be controlled when his mother agreed to let him pick up the
shoes and then meet her at the grocery store. He ran... ran to the
shop and purchased the knife (this would be an illegal act by
the shopkeeper today).
Now began the secret part. If his father discovered his
purchase, the punishment would be severe and the knife would be
gone. The decision was made to find a secret hiding place. A
routine of deception began. When alone, he would go to the
hiding place, look at the knife, flick it open with the button,
close it, flick it open again, and just feel it and look at it.
That was all he could do. Then he would return it to the hiding
After awhile, fears of the knife being discovered led him to
change the hiding place. The changing of the hiding place
occurred several times. Over time, the visits to the hiding
place became less frequent because all he could really do was
look at the knife and flick it open.
Then, one day he went to the hiding place and the knife
was not there. Where could it be? Had he forgot the latest
hiding place? A frantic search ensued, but the knife was not
As time progressed, the thought of the secret knife would
surface and another search would be initiated, but the knife was
never found. After awhile, even the memory of the knife faded
and then was lost. His family moved, he became an adult and
moved out of the home, and the episode of the beautiful but
secret white switchblade knife was over.
[to top of second column]
Go forward in time 52 years. The boy's father had died two
years earlier, and his mother had just passed on also. Family
members gathered at the nursing home to clean out and disperse
the mother's personal belongings. The boy began to empty a
dresser drawer, where he found a box. In the box were several
things, including a smaller box. Inside the smaller box, in a
pull-string pouch, was the beautiful white pearl-handled
The now 59-year-old man gasped!
Once again, the knife had his entire attention. He felt it,
caressed it and flicked it open. Then all the memories of the
knife came back. He remembered all the deception involved in
hiding his secret knife. Conviction and embarrassment engulfed
him as his adult view considered the boy's concealed, secret
But, what had happened? Most probably, the mother found the
knife but did not tell the son and did not tell the father... She
just put it away. She probably intended to give it back to the
son when he was older, but forgot about it.
Think about the wisdom and grace the mother displayed. She
did not confront the boy, she did not condemn the boy, she did
not expose his secret sin to anybody, and she did not stop
loving him. She put herself between the son and certain paternal
punishment. She took the boy's sin on herself and assumed the
risk of the hidden forbidden object.
Because of the sacrificial crucifixion of Jesus Christ for
me, God the Father does not confront or condemn me for my sin.
Jesus' blood covers my sin so that it is as though it never
happened. If Satan accuses me, Jesus steps in to intercede for
me by saying, "The price has been paid," so do not accuse my
brother. And yes, I was the young boy.
All of us probably have some personal failure that we do not
want exposed. So...
James 5:16: "Therefore confess your sins
to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."
Prayer: Father, forgive me of that particular sin that I
kept secret. I confess that sin to you now, although to you,
it's not a secret. I desire to go forward without having to hide
anything and without the deception that pokes and taunts my
conscience. I want to be free from hidden things and will be
open to inspection from your Holy Spirit.
[HERE AM I, SEND ME]