You ever played hide and seek with a three or four year old?
They aren't very good at it.
I remember playing with my kids at that age. They loved to hide. And I loved to count.
Usually I had to count to like, 900 because they couldn't decide on a hiding spot. I did them a solid and kept on counting because hey, it's a few minutes of down time that moms just don't get very often. Every good mom knows how to count to a thousand with their eyes closed and their feet up. The trick is not skipping a number or losing your place when you begin losing consciousness. This is what separates the newbies from the pros. I was a pro. So I counted a thousand sheep while I heard them giggling, laughing, arguing about space, pulling down towels from closets, shoving pots and pans aside in cabinets, slamming bedroom doors, and clomping around in bathtubs. Usually I would wake up—um, I mean, get up to find them "hiding" in plain sight with something obscuring THEIR vision of ME instead of the other way around. Sometimes I would find them lying under a bed with the entirety of their lower extremities sticking out and flailing around like little octopus legs. Then they would make these ridiculous noises to "clue me" in on where they were hiding. Like I couldn't already hear them slamming the cabinets. Like I couldn't already see their entire bodies through the shower door-- That's made of glass. Like I couldn't feel them rocking the couch to squeeze their bodies between it and the wall. Like I wouldn't notice the lump sitting indian style on my bed only half covered by a hand towel. So then I had to pretend to not know they were there. It's utterly exhausting to play this game when you become an adult because there's just so much acting involved.
"No kids in here! Just a big ol' lumpy couch ."
"No kids in here! Just a pile of moving laundry that was once folded neatly but is now strewn across the room!"
"No kids in here! Just what's left of my sanity, a cold cup of coffee, and a half-written blog that will one day be my crowning achievement!"
"No kids in here! Just a moving curtain with familiar size 4 shoes and pants sticking out from the bottom! Guess I'll just sit down on this lumpy couch and relax! What?? There's a child in my couch!??"
Then things would get weird.
I had to hide while they counted and I hated this part. My daughter would count to some obscure number in Mandarin, or Egyptian or whatever language it was, and waddle into the same place to find me. Every. Time. Everytime. She was completely and genuinely surprised to not find me in the closet everytime. I could stand on the couch, dressed in neon, highlighter yellow from head to toe and Kaycee would walk past me to look in the closet 100% of the time. Then 50% of the time, she would cry if I couldn't be seen immediately... But that other 50% of the time they would look diligently for me as I hid in plain sight, and often read a book or scrolled through Instagram fighting the urge to doze or go heat up my coffee.
As much as I loved a little down time, I truly never hid in hard places. I would take a pillow with me and hide under the dining room table. This spot is in plain sight ya'll. Or I would lay on the bed covered in a sheet with my feet poking out. One time I just sat on top of the running dryer with the laundry room door shut. They were always in awe of my ability to disappear. Usually I would magically reappear when they would give up by screaming, "Where are you?"
It still makes me giggle. I was always there... they just weren't aware of my presence. I recently found a quote that has settled all over me on this same idea:
"We cannot attain the presence of God. We are already totally in the presence of God. What's missing is our awareness." Fr Richard Rohr
How many times do you consider temperature of the room until it becomes too hot or too cold?
How many times a day do you think about the constancy of gravity holding you to Earth?
How many times do you register the involuntary act of your heart beating or breathing air?
Those things are always present, it's just our awareness of them that changes at any given time. I've begged for God's presence and I've verbalized my desperation for Him to just come out of hiding or quit watching me mess everything up from far away. I'm not alone. You've done it too. And there are people in this world who are too desperate to get through today to even listen to us present a hope for tomorrow. Here's the truth:
"...and be sure of this—that I am with you always, even to the end of the world." Matthew 28:20
He's there—Hiding in plain sight.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.