“Again, Peter denied it. And immediately, the cock crowed.” – Jn. 18:27

My daughter eats crayons. She is a crayon eater. In this past, it has been just a nibble here or a bite there. This time, I came out of my son’s nursery to discover her hiding under her toddler-sized table, crayon wrappers littered about.

“Why are you hiding?”
“Because I did something bad.”
“Did you eat your crayon?” A nod. I search for the remnants.
“Did you eat your whole crayon?”

Still laying under her table, her favorite place to wallow in guilt, she looks everywhere but my face and holds up two fingers.

“You ate two crayons?” Now, I am impressed. From nibble upon nibble, she acquired a taste and had graduated from a waxy amuse bouche to full-blown Crayola feast.

That’s how sin works, isn’t it?

Bit by bit, inch by inch, nibble by nibble, we acquire the taste of something we know is forbidden until it feels like we can’t say no. We’d rather hide under the table, feasting on filth, than to come back into the light.

Even when we are caught in our sin and admit what we’ve done wrong, even when we hear the Father calling to us to come out, that sinking feeling of shame slithers out of the darkness and wraps around, tightening its hold on us.

Today, that hold is broken. There is no hiding from Christ. Come out from shame and darkness. Whatever your sin, give it to Christ on the cross. There’s nothing he isn’t up there for. He wants it all. Don’t hold back. He’s waiting.

How does Peter feel when he hears the cock crow?
Where do I turn when I feel shame?
What is it that coils around me, keeping me from freedom? Can I imagine myself giving that to Jesus as I venerate the cross?

Samantha Stephenson