From my first hour class, I heard them talking in the hallway. The Vice Principal and the Security Guard were opening lockers, one by one, trying to find the source. They eventually would. And they would eventually realize it was me. My stomach was getting sick with nerves.

Earlier, minutes before first hour, Kyle and I had this great idea. We would take some hair, and damp paper wrapped in dry paper wrapped in Scotch tape. We cleared the bottom of his locker and hung the smoke bomb from the coat hook and lit it. We didn’t know Jim wasn’t coming to school that day. So it just smoldered and filled the halls with smoke. Other than Kyle and I, only one kid (who we found out later was a rat) knew what we did. We thought just maybe we wouldn’t get caught. But I was sick thinking about it all day.

In 6th hour I remember hearing over the intercom in our classroom, “Please send Kyle to the principal’s office.” I knew we were had. Five minutes later I was called down. Discipline was rightfully heavy. Fire in school is a big deal. And it was almost a relief to be caught. To have the weight of the issue out in the open allowed my conscience to rest.

Openness is freeing. Opposite of the feeling of hiding something, waiting to get caught, openness is the freeing feeling of having nothing to hide. It is that way with my life before God. There is nothing to hide, and no point in trying anyway. The beauty is that I can simply be me, just who I am. I am already caught, charged guilty and set free.

Monday is over. Four on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best day ever. Tara is still weak and slightly discouraged. Work again took more of my time that I wanted. So here we are again. God give us strength to continue. Heal my wife. Protect our family. Help us to look beyond ourselves.


8 thoughts on “Caught

  1. “There is nothing to hide, and no point in trying anyway.” I like the way you said that Jay. How very true. Our adult life before God is similar in many ways to our childhood before our parents. Parents usually knew when you’d screwed up . . . and so does God. But He also knows our hearts and I’m so thankful that His judgement takes our hearts’ condition into consideration and not just our human failings.

  2. Lord, giver and sustainer of life, grant Tara the strength to rise up each and everyday. Thank You for her family and loved ones.

  3. Jay and Tara,

    I’m thinking of you both so so much! I know this is beyond hard and trying, I only hope you still feel the love of all of us around you!

    Love, Dee Ann

  4. Jay I was wondering just how many other youthful “tricks” you have to confess and want your kids to know!! My niece was an angel growing up! Well from your blogs you REALLY DISLKE SNOW so I finally think you will enjoy today.Anyway in North Ia.we won’t get snow! Daily thoughts and prayers for strength and healing of Tara continue. Also for you and your beautiful family.Love to all. Aunt Cathy & Uncle Mike

  5. It’s heartwarming to see that such a naughty boy could grow up to be such a good man;). What you wrote about the agony of waiting, and the freedom as a result of being caught, is so true, as illustrated by such greats as Poe and Dostoyevsky (and Maier!). Similar to the relief felt when you learn you didn’t get that job; at least now you know. It’s the waiting that is killer. So sorry the waiting is a lot of what your lives are these days. It’s a most difficult place to be. So thankful for God’s sustaining mercy.

  6. The discouragement is SO much a part of the trip through (and beyond) cancer. We’re not built to feel crummy day after day after day. Our bodies and minds and spirits fight against it, and we can’t help but resent that we have to feel like this. I remember thinking, “Am I always going to feel this awful?” But the good days come again, and the contrast between those blessed days and the bad ones is big. You’re on a roller coaster, or a teeter-totter. UP and DOWN. You long to be finished with this ride! Of course you do. Treatment for cancer is still outrageously savage, but it’s getting better in baby steps. I used to think of it as “hazing” for membership in a sorority/fraternity. Hang in there, Tara and Jay. Your honesty and openness are so refreshing….

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