What is your instinctive reaction to this fellow? Jaws outstretched? A few yards away?
Well, in this shot he's bored with me... yawning, actually. I thought he was beautiful and delightful in his easy lingering as I played paparazzi. Yet, I remained cautious... uncertain of our respect for one another.
So it is sometimes in our relationships with others. We have misperceptions. What we instinctively respond to as a threat, is sometimes no threat at all. We misjudge. Conversely, sometimes we misplace our trust, falling in harm's way. Still other times we become wary of others and wary of ourselves and avoid a connection at all. Yet, a part of each of us reminds us of our deep need for safe harbor.
I smiled this week as I heard the boys' dad speaking of me. Serious, and yet with a lilt in his voice. "I know Susan. After 17 years with her I can tell you she has never lied to me. Not once. I may not have always liked what she had to say... and sometimes I might have wished that she wouldn't have told me the truth... but she always did." I laughed. I appreciated that... because it stood for something. While our marriage did not survive, our friendship did. It survived because he knew he could trust me... no matter what. There is safety in that.
A safe harbor. We are drawn to images of lighthouses perched on solid shorelines casting long, unwavering beams of light across uncertain seas. My heart warms at the sight of glowing lamplight through farmhouse windows down familiar country roads. We long for a safe harbor. And even more than the safe harbor of a physical refuge, we innately crave a safe harbor for our true selves... a person in which we find refuge. Someone who accepts us always. Someone who loves us unconditionally. Someone who knows us completely and still remains true... unwavering... a compass... a place to land... even in the darkness. We can be sure.
I drove through the night recently... winding through horse pastures and treelined fencerows. I could hear the deep, rhythmic breathing of two little boys sleeping behind me. It felt good to turn that last curve and pull up the hill into our driveway. The light from the china cabinet cast a soft glow through the front windows to the lawn. I treasure the safe harbor of home... not just this house, but what it represents to me and my boys. It's where we can be ourselves... where we can discover dreams, share our laughter, shed our fears, dry our tears and whisper our love... knowing all the while that we are accepted. True north. It doesn't mean we always agree, that we don't make mistakes, that we don't disappoint one another... but that the light never wavers.
And in the still of the night as those little boys sleep, when I sometimes think of things I would like to share... I am reminded of my Refuge.
"In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence:
and His children shall have a place of refuge."
May you know a safe harbor tonight.
From my heart,