…We are covered with shame.
Baths for them every night seem a little ambitious, and maybe even obsessive and extraneous. But, they’re covered in all manner of dirt and grime – remnants of markers, glue, sand, glitter, peanut butter and jelly, paint.
Anything that will leave a mark.
I turn on the water, and the tub fills slowly. The boys come tumbling in with shouts, stripping clumsily with demands for trains and plastic animals. They cannonball in and yelp onto the tips of their toes. It’s too hot. The girl is reluctant. I coax her in with promises of gummy bears.
It is anything but relaxing in there. All three of them are too big and space is at a premium. They fight for the position next to the faucet, but howl at the audacity of water being poured over their heads. There is always one toy that ignites a world war. Soon they’re dumping water over each other and laughing at the small waterfalls down each other’s noses.
As they slide out onto the floor like so many seals on a dock each one rolls into a ball wailing, “Mommy, towel, towel, towel. Cover me.” When the air hits their skin, they always seem surprised by the cold. I wrap them up and snuggle each one before they break away. They run down the hall leaving little wet footprints and abandon the towels on the floor.
My hands and feet are wet, too. I wipe them dry on my clothes. The smell of their bath wash is in my nostrils.
Those of us who wish to draw near to God should not be surprised when our vision goes cloudy for this is a sure sign that we are approaching the opaque splendor of God. – Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark