Sardines in the Dark

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)

* * *

Love Mischief for the World

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.

What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“.jus let me iN” by Sippanont Samchai. Used with permission.
Photo of Buddha bowl by Ingrid Dahl. Used with permission.
“Found Me” by Anne Yungwirth. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2018.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2018.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Childhood, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Sardines in the Dark

  1. Beautiful, Esther. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roxee says:

    Oh Esther, I can so relate to your story today….thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. geofstruthers says:

    In this post you mention science’s claim to the world about helping to save the world by stopping consumption of meat and dairy.  Is this not another slippery step away from God? His command to Peter was that everything was good for food.  Mankind is led away in a subtle way easier than giant leaps !!


    • Esther Hizsa says:

      Hi Geoff,
      Thanks for taking the time to reply. I hear in your comment that science is not God and cannot replace God in saving the world. Absolutely true. We cannot do a thing without God. Yet God invites us to cooperate in this work. Like Jesus, we must be about our Father’s business.

      You mention the command Peter was given in Acts 10 when he had a dream and God told him to kill and eat animals. He was told he should not call anything unclean God has called clean. However, if you follow what happened next, the dream led to the inclusion of the Gentiles into the church. Non-Jews were not unclean in God’s eyes. Eating animals was not the main point of the dream or Peter’s focus.

      But it is a point. It is not unlawful for Christians to eat meat. I, myself, am not a vegan. I wonder if when we were given permission to eat animal products God intended us to eat so much of it. Our overconsumption of meat and dairy has harmed creation and knowing that, wouldn’t the compassionate thing to do to eat less of it?

      “All things are lawful,” says Paul,”but not all things are beneficial” (1 Co 10:23). I have the right to eat sugar but if I were a diabetic, that sugar would harm my body, so it would be good to eat less of it. Similar dietary restrictions come with other health conditions. If we can choose to stop eating some food for the good of our bodies, could we not eat less animal products for the good of future generations who will also live on this planet? It seems like a Christlike way to love one another.


  4. Pingback: Right Where I Am | An Everyday Pilgrim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.