An image popped up on my Facebook memories this past week. It was from a mere five years ago, and it was of my youngest son’s bedroom. He’d made himself a tent and disappeared underneath.

He was 18.

I’m not saying that to shame him, but to talk about tents. I have days when I wish I could build a tent and hide — not really hide, but get away, make a pretend world of quiet and solace that is just for me, maybe my cat, a pillow and a good book.

Do you have a getaway place?

This particular son of mine always loved making tents. Actually, as I think about it, both my sons did. At one point in their childhood, my husband built them an actual tee-pee out in the backyard; but, I think the best were those they threw together themselves from many of my clean bed sheets and blankets. They could spend hours in their getaway worlds.

The crazier this world becomes, the more I’m tempted to pull out some sheets and chairs and hide. Yet, while there is nothing wrong with the occasional getaway, under a sheet or in a mountain cabin, those of us who claim to follow Christ cannot live isolated from the reality of this fallen world.

Jesus understands — that’s why he prays for us: My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one…As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.*

He knows we’re like sheep among wolves. He knows we get scared and want to clump together with like-minded sheep to be strong. Yet, as our Good Shepherd, he prods us to spread out, to follow him toward the pasture. He’ll watch out for the things that slip us up, but it doesn’t stop him moving us forward.

We cannot hide away, because he’s given us, imperfect, silly sheep, a wonderful message that needs to be shared with the world we so disdain — God has loved each person of this world so much, that he sent Jesus, his only son, to die for our sins, and when anyone, from any background, from any skin type, from any language group, believes that message — they will not perish, but have eternity with God.

Our world needs hope right now. Are you under a tent or out there sharing what he’s given you?

Grace and Peace

*John 17:15, 18 (NIV)

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