A High, Safe Place (Not Far from Tatooine)

When Susanna, our daughter, was quite young she would sometimes bring me things she would want me to place high on the top shelf of my bedroom closet. Usually, she would bring me “scary things,” things that made her feel sad or made her cry. On that shelf, out of sight and out of mind, lived, for a while, her big brother Kyle’s rancor monster from The Return of the Jedi. If you’ve seen the movie, you know it’s the huge, ugly, brown, toothy creature that tries to eat Luke Skywalker for a snack at Jabba the Hutt’s palace. If you haven’t seen the movie, just think “mean, hungry, and horrifying,” to quote the toy maker’s catalog. It was a perfect toy for big brothers to use against little sisters until this little sister, at least, spirited it away to the high and safe place.


Over time, along with the monsters, Susanna would bring a book and a video or two for safe-keeping. Once, she even added a videotape of the children’s classic story, The Velveteen Rabbit. It was hard to take the Velveteen Rabbit’s loss of the child who loved it, especially after the Rabbit had played an important part in comforting the child while the child was ill nearly unto death. Even though the child survived, and the Rabbit was reborn into a “real” rabbit at the very end of the story, the loss of the relationship was too real for her at such a tender age.


I was glad to put those items up in my closet for I knew Susanna would be back for them one day, when the time was right, and she was ready for them. “Each day has enough trouble of its own,” so the Lord Jesus told his disciples. Why add fears and tears before their time?


I’ve had quite a few days in my life when it would have been a comfort to take the scary things I have encountered and hand them over to a mom or dad. I am glad to have a Heavenly Parent into whose presence I can go when I must face the scary things, the difficult things, the challenging and painful things. My experience has been that most of those experiences did not wait until I was ready to deal with them but came headlong into my life with no opportunity to put them on a shelf until later. I have observed that some people are very good at putting difficult experiences on the shelf and will leave them there hoping to never deal with them, not the healthiest of choices, you know.


But I have a high and safe place to go. My high and safe place is a growing consciousness of the nearness of God within me, and at times surrounding me with the love of brothers and sisters in Christ, my other family. Through prayer, scripture, and stillness, and in the rush and crush and madness, I am learning to place my fears in God’s hands, and that is a wondrous thing. For perhaps you have heard: “Nothing is impossible with God.”


Grace and Peace,

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