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A hope note

When our middle son was about 5, he went through a period when he wouldn’t clean his plate. My wife and I were brought up on the child-rearing philosophy that you don’t get up from the table until you clean your plate, so we tried enforcing that on our kids. We made him sit there while we cleaned the table and washed the dishes. Eventually, we’d look over and he would have a big smile on his face; his plate was empty. We’d excused him from the table.
One day months later, after he had outgrown that stage, we detected an unpleasant odor coming from our kitchen area. After much searching, we discovered it was coming from under a green cabinet that was close to our son’s seat at the table. There we found a stash of partially consumed meals that he had cagily stored there when our heads were turned.
Imagine, in our homes, if instead of taking out the trash and putting it in the big garbage receptacle that the garbage truck picks up, we hid it ‘ a little in the closet, a little under the bed, a little in the attic, a little under the green cabinet. ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ Only a person with serious emotional problems would do that.
Yet we do something similar with our personal garbage. We work overtime at hiding our faults so we can come off to the world as having it all together.
Conventional wisdom tells us that honest confession is good for the soul.
It’s a heavy burden to conceal our personal garbage. What a relief to have someone trustworthy in our lives listen caringly as we move a little trash from the inside out. It’s good for the soul.

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