As a child I was good at hiding, both in the physical sense and emotionally. Along with any quiet kid comes an ability to retreat into themselves and I took advantage of mine. It was super easy to sit in a crowded room and watch without getting involved. Nobody worried about what I thought. No one gave it a consideration. I learned a lot about human behavior and body language and communication. Taking in so much and keeping it secret felt powerful. All my impressions were mine alone. I had no reason to fear criticism or judgment.
But time changed me. College professors encouraged expressions of opinion. My work as a teacher put me front and center with a responsibility to release my inner assessments. I married a man in ministry, thrusting our family into the public eye on a regular basis. I helped with a Bible study and found when I admitted to personal thoughts and emotions, even the ugly ones, others related and found comfort. Slowly I emerged, embracing each change as part of growing up, as a step in making me who God had in mind.
But there are days I miss those hiding years, the years as a child when no one knew what ideas ran through my head and no expectations were placed on me because of them. Being stuck at home sick last week brought back the comfort of hiding and made me wonder what God expects of me. Am I to follow my natural instinct to hide or accept where God placed me and allow myself to be out there?
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Doesn't sound like much room for hiding there, huh? Yet I know He's designed me as an introvert. This doesn't get me off the hook from shining His light, but how can I stay true to His creation in me yet faithful to the call He's placed on my life?
I do all my hiding in Him.
How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.
In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.
When I want to escape, I don't run for the privacy of my mind, I run to His presence.
Are you like me? Do you have days you yearn to hide? Call out to Him. Immerse yourself in prayer. Put yourself in His presence. Ignore the expectations around you and focus on One thing.
Find the best way to hide.
Photo Credit: Susan NYC