The older I get the more I realize that even as adults we haven’t outgrown the classic game of hide and seek. Sure, we may not be hiding in backyards, behind fences, or underneath playgrounds, but we still love to hide, except as adults we tend to dislike being found.
I’ve discovered that I’m really, really good at hiding when I want to. A good friend of mine said he was proud of me for not falling apart all of the time and I quite literally laughed out loud. “If only he really knew,” I thought to myself, “he wouldn’t say he is proud of me.” The more I hide the more I suspect that we all do it and that I am not alone in reliving our classic childhood game. We hide from the people we love. We hide from the people who love us. We run away from love. We say it is too much, we don’t have time for it, we aren’t ready for it, or we don’t want it yet. We hide our hearts away because we are scared, scared of a million different things. We are scared of the end, we are scared that the happy ending could actually be ours. We are scared that if we really let someone in they wouldn’t love us anymore. They would see us for the flawed, wounded, and broken people that we really are and they would walk away, confirming all of our worst fears. We are scared that we will break their hearts, just like we’ve broken others’ hearts. We are scared to disappoint them, we are scared to disappoint ourselves. So we shut people out. We hide. And what is worse is that the more we hide, the more we bury our hearts away – broken, bruised, scared and flawed – the better we get at hiding.
Thank goodness there is someone who never stops seeking.
God knows we try to hide from Him too. As Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, “Ever since the days of Adam, man has been hiding from God and saying, ‘God is hard to find.’” This game we play, whether it is as children or as adults, is nothing new; we’ve been doing it since the Fall. We hide our hearts from Him too because we fear that His love is just as conditional and temperamental as the love that our human brothers and sisters can give. We fear that if we let Him in and allow Him to see all of our brokenness, all of our wounds, and all of our pain He will walk away and say it is too much. Praise God that He doesn’t. He finds us. He finds us alone, He finds us no matter how good we think our hiding spot is. We may run to the darkest pit and He will still find us. We can run to His church and hide there and He will find us.
Perhaps that makes no sense. Why would we run to His church and then hide? I’ve been really guilty of this. I run to the church, to the chapel, to prayer, and I like to talk about the weather with God, so to speak. I don’t really let Him in my heart. I pray for other people but I don’t let Him into my brokenness, mostly because I’m afraid I’m going to keep breaking. Even still, He finds me there. God never stops seeking our hearts. Will we let Him in? His love is unconditional, unchanging, and constant. He never walks away, He never decides we are too much to handle or that we are too flawed for Him to fix. He never says that He doesn’t want us or that He doesn’t want us yet. He is never scared of our love. In fact, He longs for our love. Accepting His love ought, ought to be the easiest thing we do in a day. But we’ve gotten so used to hiding that we don’t always want to be found.
On the off chance that we let God find us and we stop hiding from Him, how good are we at letting other people find us? Our families? Our friends? Our significant others? God knows we hide our hearts from them, too. We push them away because…God only knows why. Our reasons are varied and as numerous as the stars, but we push the people who love us away. We like hiding; we don’t always like to or even want to be found. So here’s my advice (as much for you my lovely readers as it is for me): let God find you. Let Him come ransom your heart and wash it clean with His love. You may be broken and think you are beyond repair, but let Him fill your brokenness with His love. Let His love heal your heart. Then, healed by His love, let other people in. Trust Him first and foremost with your heart, but let others in. Let Him love you through others. Allow His love to fill others and overflow on to you. His love can’t help but overflow and be shared. Hide if you must, but allow yourself to be found in and by love, for it is the only power in all the world that can end this game once and for all.Tags » faith, friendship, relationships, suffering, surrender
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