Monday, October 8, 2018

All come free!

Hide or seek - do you remember the game? When we played it as kids, it was usually in the yard and we had to come up with clever hiding places behind shrubs, up on a tree limb, or maybe behind the trash can. The places weren't all that 'concealing', but they worked! We'd hide in the most obscure, hoping not to be found, but when we were, we would then become the seeker. Do you ever remember finding that one spot no one would ever imagine you'd hide and you'd be there until someone called 'all come free'? That spot in my yard was deep inside of this huge cypress tree. We had two of these teardrop shaped trees lining the driveway and they were huge. The inside left you totally obscured from sight, but it came with some risks. Have you any idea what lives inside those branches? Spiders, bees, hornets, just to name a few! The hiding was supreme, but the risks in the hiding were huge!

“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” (John 3:20-21 MSG)

The purpose of hiding is to keep hidden from view - so as to keep something secret or shut off from others. On occasion, the things we hide are pretty insignificant, like that candy bar we are saving for that day when we just need that little indulgent treat to get us through. At other times, the things we hide are not so 'harmless' - in fact, they almost are being 'kept in secret' because we don't want anyone to know those things about us! We want to avoid having those things exposed, so we won't have to face some form of 'pain' if they were to be seen or realized. The problem with running from God's light is that it penetrates where darkness attempts to hide - no amount of darkness is ever really going to cover over what we seek to hide so deeply - his light is able to see past the dark places!

Hiding always comes with some risks - either because the hiding produces some form of risk to us (like the inside of the cypress tree), or because discovery would be our undoing! The hiding places in our lives aren't really all that robust. The principle of camouflage may have been used to cover over something in our lives, but even a well camouflaged thing isn't going to be completely unrecognized by the trained eye. The trained eye will spot the little incongruities that exist with that clever conceal. God's light, combined with his 'trained eye', makes it virtually impossible to totally conceal what we think shouldn't be known or seen by anyone.

Exposure is indeed painful - it requires a degree of honesty that many are not comfortable with because if we are honest with ourselves, we are also asking others to be honest with us. We might be inclined to bring things into the light if we know others won't judge us for whatever that thing might be. The only one who really doesn't judge us for bringing things out into the light is Christ himself. Yes, he helps us have deeply honest relationships with each other, but trust me on this one - as honest as we might be with each other, it is hard for us not to judge each other. Christ has already been judged on our behalf for whatever it is we are trying to conceal, so he doesn't need to judge us for that thing! It has already been judged and the thing has already been forgiven. Just sayin!

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