What are the things that make us run and hide? Find the safest place we can find to sink into and escape from the chaos of the world? Or simply hide parts of ourselves?
Shame? Yes. It can be shame. Even guilt. The first man and woman set the example of this type of hiding.
But what about protection? What about when we feel the desire to hide away to protect ourselves?
Has no one told you, my lord, about the time when Jezebel was trying to kill the Lord’s prophets? I hid 100 of them in two caves and supplied them with food and water. 1 Kings 18:13
“I just made everything private. Then I have to approve anyone who is looking or trying to twist the truth, or looking for the wrong reasons. See! Even my blog. I made that private, too!”
I had been triggered. I had told myself I wasn’t. That another’s opinion of me didn’t really matter, but it had triggered me. And I wanted to crawl into a private space and protect myself. Only let in people I allowed to be here.
I wanted to crawl into my on-line cave. Until I decided when it was safe to come back.
“You just put your light under a bushel. That’s what you just did.” My husband let me know my need to gain the upper hand somehow with all this “protection,” was really diminishing.
“No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.” Matthew 5:15, NLT
My friend had told me just the day before my privacy crusade that I left a certain “stamp” when I graced a place. And here I was…trying to erase this “stamp.”
That stamp was a light. The “light of the world, on a hilltop that can’t be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)
It should not be hidden.
Even if people are looking for the wrong reasons, the Jewish leaders were trolling Jesus for the wrong ones, too (Mark 12:15)
I can’t stop people from gossip or slander. From ill will or unforgiveness. That’s not a journey I can walk for someone, only alongside with support. But I can be a walking, talking version of light.
Even if I don’t stay “private,” I can ensure my public demeanor is just as holy as my private one. That my light shines the same at home, at the grocery store, at work, at church, and on-line.
That the stamp I leave simply says this:
JESUS WAS HERE
That’s a stamp I’d like the world to see. Through me.