Our grandson called out our names in the dark. But there was no answer. The silence confirmed his deduction: his cousin had found our hiding place. He was on his own.
Our grandchildren love to play Sardines in the Dark. It’s a version of Hide and Seek. The person who’s “it” hides. When the seekers find the one hiding, they squeeze in beside them until the last person discovers them draped over each other. Playing this at night with the lights out is what makes it so much fun. You’d think that after a few years our grandkids would get bored with the game. Our three bedroom townhouse isn’t very big. But here we were again.
It was my turn to hide. I sat on shoes in the hall closet, closed the door and waited. One by one, counting to twenty in between, the eleven-year-old cousins and Fred came through the front door. Fred found me almost immediately. Then our granddaughter. We stifled our giggles and were as still as mice.
I heard our grandson search the bedrooms a second time and come back.
He was inches away when he called out our names. His voice trembled; it wasn’t fun anymore. My compassion for him made it too hard to sit still. I knew Fred was feeling the same angst. We squirmed in our cramped spots “accidentally” bumping into the closet door.
Our grandson pulled open the door. “I found you!” he said with great relief. I gave him a hug.
“That was scary,” he said. Then a minute later, he grinned and shooed us outside. “Now it’s my turn to hide.”
I kept thinking about my grandson’s mounting fear of being alone and my mounting desire to be found. It gives me such a visceral sense of God’s desire to be found that it has lingered with me all week. I’m often in the dark, wondering what to say next in spiritual direction or trying to figure out how to handle a complicated situation.
“You’re not alone,” I wanted to whisper to my loved one in the darkness.
“You’re not alone,” God whispers to me.
I will let you find me, says the Lord.
–Jeremiah 29:14 (NRSV)
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I made Buddha bowls with miso gravy for Scrabble night. A study, published in the journal Science, shows that avoiding meat and dairy is the single most effective way we can help the environment. According to The Guardian, “The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.” My love mischief got two thumbs up from my daughter who owns Vegan Yarn and her pal, Karina Inkster, a personal trainer and the author of Vegan Vitality, a plant-based cookbook and active living guide.