Are you hiding too?
Do you have a favorite blanket that makes you feel so rested? The warmth feeling just right against your skin, the softness soothing every thought away. It’s bliss. Snuggling under a cozy blanket can become a satisfying desirable habit for an overbearing winter day. Comforts of a different sort have become a habit for me. Freedom from the spinning, over driven pace of life has caused me to withdraw. I have been dreaming more and more of a simplistic life. Is this me at the beginning stages of minimalism? No, instead, I found myself becoming a cave woman . It is becoming a very good comfort zone.
In fact, so comforting, I was convinced hiding in my cave is fun! It started with a subtle avoidance with small talk at social gatherings, staying home more and more, streaming live services of church rather than venturing out Sunday mornings. I preferred to hide away in the comforts of my home. However, if you consider God’s word you will mostly find that caves are for burying the dead, it’s not always safe, crazy behaviors can happen there, and “the frightened” flee to caves. One verse I thought was appealing referenced hiding like doves that nest in the clefts of the rocks, till it was revealed that those doves are timid and dispirited (Jer 48:28, Ez 7:16). Yet, here I am just chilling, nesting so comfortably feeling like I am safe. Then, a longtime friend calls me.
Out of the blue, my daughter says, “Mom, I was wondering how Gracie is doing?” This is the daughter of a great friend who my own daughter treasured back in those smallville years. The time when my kids were so little and we would travel to the park, or the beach, and were definitely not stuck in a cave. So, I messaged my friend warm thoughts and it lead into a phone call. I was explaining how life had become and, then it happened. Confessing out loud, I said, “I have become like an ancient cave dweller.” There, I said it, undeniable truth. Escaping to the caves and not wanting to peek out was really hard to admit.
Graciously, I received my friend’s words of advice which lead me to think that maybe I needed to make some changes. Now that Christmas and the end of the year has arrived, there are lots of invitations to social gatherings. However, I found it quite easy to stay disengaged. The thought of being vulnerable to the simplest questions of, “How are you?” swayed me to crawl backwards into my den. It took some self-convincing to get to a couple of gatherings.
Recently, a more powerful word of advice came to me from the bible. My desire to stay hidden, to tend to my own needs, neglecting anything or anyone that seemed way too protruding was remedied. Ezekiel 34 stopped me from scratching my head with pondering thoughts. Instead my eye’s popped open like the astonished face emoji on my phone. Specifically, when I read verse 2, “Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves!” Though I am not part of the city council, or currently leading in a women’s ministry group, I am a believer, one who does trust the Lord with all my heart and soul. Keeping myself hidden will not allow even a smile on my face to cheer up another soul.
This past Sunday I made it to an actual live church service, a prayer was spoken and a word was given to the Pastor specifically for someone “hiding in a cave” to be encouraged to come on out and to embrace the bright lights outside. Those bright lights are becoming refreshing to me. I am breathing in God’s word and seeking his wisdom in daily prayer. In hiding, I learned a few things about myself and hope to share them with you. Until then, go ahead and bless others today along with your beautiful smile, I know I will. Come Out of Hiding.