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It’s okay to hide.

We’ve talked about this before.

I did this sculpture a few years ago. I call it “Shelter”. It is made out of Brazilian soapstone. The pebble is from the beach in front of our house. To be honest, today I would like to be that little pebble hiding away in an impenetrable fortress… safe, secure, untouchable.

Do you ever feel that way?

Here’s a more important question: How do you feel about that feeling?

Have you been taught that it is escapist? That you should stay engaged at all times with those you love? That to retreat is cowardly? That you need to be available at all times, especially when you are needed?

I remember this story about Jesus. Early in the morning he sneaks away by himself. After a while his disciples are frantically looking for him. He’s done this many times before. The first time he did this that we know of he was just a boy. His parents lost him during a trip. They found him in the temple talking with the elders. Not this time. This time they find Jesus in the desert. Peter freaks out and tells Jesus that there are people who need to see him and people he needs to help. No, Jesus says, let’s go this way. No more cities. Let’s do villages from now on. We’ll take the back roads.

Moses would sneak away and hide. People freaked out. David would sneak away and hide. People freaked out. Jeremiah would sneak away and hide. People freaked out. Jesus. Paul. John. I could include the Buddha, Mohammed, Gandhi, Krishnamurti, and on and on and on. Everyone around them freaked out.

But here’s the thing: not one of these people did this because it was warranted by scripture or by some expectation or rule. They did it simply because they wanted to or needed to. They did it out of the freedom of meeting their own needs and desires.

You don’t need divine approval. You don’t need scriptural support. You don’t need ecclesiastical permission. You don’t need a nod from your peers or parents or partner.

You owe nobody an explanation or an apology.

You have the right to hide.

So here’s my question: Where is your favorite place to hide?