Then the eyes of [Adam and Eve] were opened, and they realized they were naked… and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
As a unprofessional counselor, it’s easy (relatively) for me to draw out people who are hiding. I’m good at asking questions, hearing stories, going to the deep. I’m great at creating a safe place for you to share what you are hiding, to open up so that you can change. Bringing people out of their hiding places is a great joy for me, especially when change is necessary.
I’m not, however, good at bringing myself out of my hiding place. I’ve made a habit of hiding, It’s easy for me. I move around, live in a constant state of change, and hiding just makes life easier. When I’m hiding, I don’t have to see any pain, I just keep moving to whatever is next. While I live in a constant state of physical change, I’ve built my walls up so that I can still hide who I am, what I want, what I hope for, and how my soul needs to change.
This works quite well, if I want to be a recluse my entire life, never have deep and fulfilling relationships, live in a state of depression, and unpack my own boxes when I move.
As I was reading during my lunch break, my daily sacred time, the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that this whole attempt at hiding has not served me as well. In fact, the way I allow others to stop hiding while not allowing myself to be naked, really is an injustice to myself (and to the rest of the souls who share themselves with me).
Over the last year, I’ve slowly (read: VERY slowly) come out of my hiding place. Today’s reading and reflection moments continued to break down the walls that I carefully built around my spirit over the last ten years. I thought of Adam and Eve, the inventors of “hide-and-seek”. Again,
At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
Adam and Eve realized that their entire being – their souls, their flesh, their personality, their dreams, their fears – everything was out in the open for God to see. For the animals to see. For the wind to see. Their response was fear and shame. What breaks God’s heart about this, is that He never wanted us to know fear and shame, not then and not now. He wants to come looking for us, to draw us out of our hiding place, to ask us questions so that we can choose for ourselves to no longer be afraid, because we are in the midst of the One who created us naked in the beginning.
With wisdom and boundaries, I’m choosing to come out of my hiding place. What about you? Are you still hiding?