“Olivia, where are you,” pretending not to see her standing behind the curtains. “Daddy, have you seen Olivia?”
“No! I don’t see her anywhere!” says my husband, playing along. I continue the game. I look in the closet. Under the bed. Then head over to the moving curtain with feet sticking out below, “Oh! There you are!!”
And as expected, Olivia stands there with chuckles and smiles ear to ear with a great big, “I hide you!” (Mama Translation: I was hiding from you!)
Like a child that hides from his or her parents, I started thinking about how often I hide from God. Whether emotionally or spiritually, I admittedly have moments when I pretend to believe that God can’t see my heart. How far from truth that is! And I know, as you read this, you have you no idea what I’m talking about. No, it’s those other women out there.
However, as I search the scripture, I realize I’m not alone. Adam and Eve hid. Moses hid. Elijah hid. David hid. The woman at the well hid. We all hide. It’s what we naturally do. It takes discipline and courage to stand and not just face others, but especially ourselves, what we are and what we are not.
Psalm 51:6 says, “Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part you shall make me to know wisdom.”
It is when we take off the masks, let down our guard, and come from out of the shadows of our weaknesses, failures, and frailties, that we begin to intimately connect with our one true God.
When God approached Adam and Eve, asking, “Where are you?” It wasn’t because He didn’t know they were hiding. He challenges us with such questions so we can acknowledge our own notions that we’re okay when we’re clearly not. And even when we deny it and are slow to respond, He graciously waits for us with patience and love to allow the truth of our circumstance and the promises in His word to go from head to heart.
Too bad our hiding isn’t always because we’re playing a rambunctious game of hide and seek with our glorious Father. But His response when we finally come out from our hiding place and own what’s in our heart is just the same. “Yes, there you are! I’m so glad I found you!”
Diera Shaw-Mendez is a minister and youth leader at New Beginnings Worship Center, Pennsauken, NJ, and works full-time for an educational nonprofit in Philadelphia. She is wife to Chaplain Juan Mendez and mama to Olivia Joy. She spends her “spare time” running an online invitation design shop on Etsy. Diera is a God-fearing, Starbucks loving, tech junkie (…in that order!) who simply wants to remind women of God’s unchanging, healing love.