We've all said the words. We've all heard them. We've all played the game. The seeker buries his eyes in the crook of his arm, leaning against a tree, and begins counting...
We run. We run as fast as we can, torn between sneaky silence and the urge to get away and hide. We try to move quietly, but must flee hastily toward our temporary shelter, our disguise, our hiding place. We know that the seeker is fair. We know that the seeker isn't peeking. But we also know that the seeker is, while counting loud enough for all to hear, also listening to our footfalls, listening to the various directions we are each running to hide.
We each find a space, a spot that seems to be just our size, a covering that seems to be made just for us, perfectly waiting to hide us from the prying and determined eyes of the seeker. We crouch down and try so slow our breathing and wipe the sweat from our brows. We can hear the pounding of our hearts and are convinced that if the seeker comes near, he will hear it, too.
18...19...20..."Ready or not, HERE I COME!"
We have only two hopes: that our subterfuge will hold, and that the seeker will find someone else out before he finds us. And so we wait. We wait in silence and fear. We wait like a prey worried by an imagined predator. We crouch and pant and tense every muscle of our bodies only to stay still. We try not to make a sound. Try not to make a move. Try to blend in to our immediate surroundings, our hiding place. But we cannot. We do not belong. Our hiding place is not of us, and not for us. We do not belong hidden away and crippled by fear. We do not belong here, and we know it. We know that we belong out in the open, and we know, as strange as it seems and as opposed as it is to our every effort, we know we belong trapped in the gaze of the seeker.
Work. Hobbies. Relationships. Self improvement. Savings accounts. Subjective righteousness. These are our hiding places, These are your hiding places. These are the things in which you try to blend, in which you try to lose yourself. But you cannot. You do not belong there, and you know it. You know, as strange as it seems and as opposed as it is to your every effort, you know you belong trapped in the gaze of the seeker. And you know that He knows exactly where you are.
And as He asked in Eden, again He asks you now: "Why are you hiding?"
Ready or not, here He comes.