“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” -Psalm 32:7
Annabelle’s most recent favorite game is the one where she “hides” from us (while still clearly being visible and audible). She tucks herself behind a large pillow and breathes heavily in anticipation of us ‘finding’ her and there is usually a squeal or giggle involved while she waits.
This morning I awoke well after Matt and Annabelle had been awake. As I opened the bedroom door to step into the hallway, I heard the pitter-patter of her feet racing across the tile floor as she exclaimed with excitement, “Hide, hide, mommy’s coming!”
I waited several minutes and then, upon entering the living room, heard Matt repeating, ‘shhhh, here she comes’ and quickly glanced around to see which cushion and/or blanket she would be squished under. To my surprise, she had not chosen any of those. She was lovingly tucked away in her Baba’s embrace as he shielded ‘most’ of her from my sight. Her soft giggles gave her away, of course! As I voiced my search for her and drew near, she wiggled and giggled more until I suddenly exposed her and exclaimed, “There you are!” and showered her with tickles.
You get the picture. She’s happy! It brings her joy. Hiding to her means someone who loves her will come and find her and shower her with smiles, laughter, tickles, and more!
It’s a game…to her.
It is not a game to a little refugee boy. Matt was visiting a family recently and during the visit the parents were sharing their concerns for their son who is about Annabelle’s age. Whenever he hears fireworks or loud noises of any kind, he runs and hides.
It’s not a game to him. It’s a reality.
He does not anticipate that someone will come and find him and shower him with smiles and tickles. No, he hides for a very different reason. He is truly afraid. His family has suffered loss and the effects of war have infected this child at the deepest level. Even his parents, with all the love they pour on him, cannot protect him from what he has seen and heard. This family endured the horror of hiding together while real bombs went off all around their house.
My prayer is not one of ‘safety and security’ for the child. No. That is a prayer birthed from our own selfish fears in the flesh.
Instead, I ask that he learn about and know Jesus in a real way that transforms his heart and produces a level of understanding of the unmeasurable love of Jesus. May he find Jesus’ embrace, a place that frees his soul from the burdens of his reality, and may he be free to smile and giggle as he discovers the place in his heart where hope abounds more and more.
Jesus is the only hiding place where one can truly be preserved.
Psalm 32:7 “ You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
Pray with us for this boy, his family, and the many people we are in relationship with who live without the truth of Christ.