“Watch me, Mom! Watch me!” my daughter beamed, showing off a new dismount from the monkey bars.
“Wow! Super duper trick, sweetheart!” I applauded her fancy feat like it was a Fourth of July fireworks show. She skipped through the yard, basking in my praise.
My four-year-old adores an audience—and her own accomplishments. The phrase “watch me” fills my ears at least a dozen times a day. Watch me dance! Watch me draw! Watch me conquer the hopscotch board on one foot! Look what I can do! Aren’t you proud, Mom?
I do the same thing to God, of course. Watch me sing at church! Watch me mail this check to charity! Watch me bake lasagna for my friend who just had a baby! I am so thoughtful. I am so holy! Aren’t you proud, Lord?
Ah, but God has this little superpower called omniscience. Just like I see my preschooler sneaking cookies or wrapping her baby sister in a headlock when she thinks my attention is diverted elsewhere, God sees the bad behavior between my good deeds.
He sees me snap at my children, honk at slow drivers on the highway, set the dropped fork next to my husband’s dinner plate instead of my own. (Okay, seriously, I’ve actually done that. Forgive me!)
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. . . . Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:1, 7)
How would my behavior change if I invited God to “watch me!” in every circumstance? How would my thinking be transformed?
Like it or not, my heavenly Father is watching at all times. I can’t promote my achievements while hiding my screw-ups. He knows about that fork before I’ve even stooped to pick it off the floor. He has searched me and he knows me―all of me.
“Mom, is God with me in the bathtub?” my silly monkey asked later that night as I scrubbed behind her ears.
Well, yes, I suppose he is. Or he’s at least leaning against the towel cabinet, probably delighting in my girls splashing each other with soap suds. And I realized he’s delighting in me, too, imperfect as I am. It’s a comforting thought.
“God is always with us,” I said. Always loving, always faithful, always cheering us on with mercy and grace. “And that’s a wonderful thing.”