On Saturday, the Man and I feed the kids an early dinner and then buy two hours alone by popping in How the Grinch Stole Christmas and letting the kids eat snacks on the floor in the family room. Our oldest girl relishes the time to be in charge and the younger ones relish the lax rules and all the cheese balls they can eat.
The Man and I relish good guacamole and the time to clumsily sort out life.
It’s dark when we leave the house for the Mexican joint we don’t usually frequent, but we like the high backed booths and the train car atmosphere. And although hiding is not in the top 5 reasons why we choose this place, it is in the top 10. We choose it because we can hide in plain sight.
Hiding feels safe and hiding together feels even safer.
When life stirs up more questions than answers, hiding comes knocking on our front door. When folks long to sweep in and help fix the mess it appears we’ve made, hiding seems necessary. And when the future rolls out before us like low hanging fog, hiding in plain sight is easily accomplished.
Hiding isn’t a bad thing, but figuring out how to hide rightly is tricky business.
This season of life is producing one question after another with no answers ever coming and in this small town, there is not much space for open ended questions. We like things tied up round here, everyone doing what we’re supposed to be doing, all the time, as if we are all supposed to be doing one particular thing. We like order and things that make sense and answers to questions that include the words fine and good and the occasional dandy. I can say this because I was reared in this small town and its ways and its thoughts still rattle around in my cage, aching to settle somewhere and stay awhile.
I am a product of the place that reared me and my flesh longs for what my place longs for me.
My flesh longs for deep roots and straight laid paths and nice red bows along the way. It longs for acceptable purpose that makes such good sense that no one asks what we’re doing next. It longs for a 10 year ministry plan and a college plan and a retirement plan. It longs for normalcy of life with predictable next steps and measurable successes. It longs for easy and for comfortable and for sameness.
And yet for all the things my flesh longs for, my soul longs to hide in Jesus and actively wait for Him to do what He said He is going to do.
It’s fitting that this season of hiding is unfurling before us as we bend head long into Advent, the season of waiting. Hiding and waiting are close friends. Hiding, when done rightly, beckons us to come and sit under the cover of Jesus’ wings and be comforted. And waiting, when done rightly, beckons us to do the same, just patiently and with great expectation that Jesus is going to do what He said He was going to do.
We’ve had about eight weeks to hide in Jesus and wait for Him to give us our marching orders, but we’ve had years to wait for Jesus to do what He told us He was going to do here in our place and among our people.
And in this season of hiding, we’ve heard Jesus call us to simply look up and see.
All pictures from the past Saturday’s “hay”ride in the city. Most FUN neighborhood event all year. Hands down. Jesus comes small and so does His kingdom. May we simply have eyes to see it and the words to answer every question that the people in my place ask about what we’re planning to do next. This living small is the next thing. And Jesus is enlarging my heart in such a way that all I see is my small neighborhood.