Under Your Bed

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“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.  –Luke 8:16

We have a slim plastic container with out-of-season clothes.  We have a wooden closet door that’s come off it’s track.

We have an inordinate amount of dog hair.

What’s under your bed?  Cob webs?  Single socks?

Monsters?

It’s that last one that really interests me.  We talk all the time about children fearing monsters under their beds, but adults do too.  The monsters just change.

Really, most of my deepest fears are monstrous, even if they are difficult to visualize.  Under my bed lurks the fear of losing a loved one.  Feeling stuck in life.  Nuclear war.  Major health problems.  Losing my faith.  Being rejected and unloved.

Those are some from my Top 10 list.  What are yours? Monsters tend to haunt us most at night as we try to sleep.   From under the bed we hear a taunt, or a muttered worst case scenario, or the chilling moan of hopelessness.

Yikes!  Should we take a deep breath, dive under the bed, and expose all those scary things to some light?  Makes sense to me, but Jesus specifically says ‘No’ in today’s scripture.

Don’t hide your light under the bed.  Don’t waste your light there.  Instead, he recommends letting that light blaze before others.

Do you think he’s right?  Should we just ignore our lurking fears and go all publicly shiny? My first instinct is to say Jesus is wrong, here.  Experts say that we can’t help other people until we help ourselves.  You know, the old airplane instruction:  Put on your own mask before you assist others.  Is Jesus on the wrong track?

Ah, but on second thought, Jesus isn’t really saying you should cower to your fears and let them fester down there under the box springs.  He doesn’t mean you should never wrestle with your demons.  On the contrary.  You should drag them out of the shadows, and show them who’s boss. Go to therapy.  Talk to a friend or a pastor.  Journal. Pray in church or in your comfy chair.  Get to work for the Kingdom.  With all that faithfulness, monsters don’t stand a chance.

Anywhere is a better place to work on your monsters than under the bed. You do not need to ruminate in the dark before you can share the light of Christ with the world. No, shine brightly and your monsters will come to you, ready to submit. And you’ll be doing more than just helping yourself.  You may ignite something in people all around you.

Remember, a light under your bed can illuminate Dorito crumbs and dust bunnies,

but a holy light held high can push back a world of darkness…

including yours.

 

Have a great week,

Mitch

 

Many wombs.

womb

My bed…

never feels more comfortable than three minutes before my alarm goes off.

The sheets are the perfect temperature.  My body has conformed itself perfectly to the mattress.

The room is quiet.

I’ll lie there, in the 8 minutes between snoozes, wondering why I would ever climb out of this womb and into the harsh day.

Somehow, I force myself to stand up. The day begins.

Later, I hit

the shower…

If I could live in the shower, I would.  Warm water in a closed, safe environment.  Frequently the length of my shower is determined by how long the hot water lasts.  I give birth to most of my ideas in the shower. Another womb, that I hate to leave.

Somehow, I dry myself off.

I climb into

my car..

It’s messy, but it’s mine.

That 30 minute commute is me time.  I listen to books on tape.  I think.  Sometimes I pray.

I may be traveling 75 mph, but inside my car, I’m cozy.  Comfortable.

I pull into the parking lot and take a deep breath.  Yet again, another womb I hate to leave.

I step into

my office…

It’s a nice office, with a desk and a table and a closet.

It’s about as messy as my car, but it’s mine.

I plop down in my chair and check my e-mail.  I feel at home here.

But I can’t stay in this womb, either.  I have meetings to attend, events to plan, visits to make.

So I step out onto the street, and make my way downtown.

Out, finally, into

the world…

It’s cold today.

There’s no buffer between me and everybody and everything.

No separation between me and buildings and cars and trees.

And then I hear one tree in the parking lot across the street.

Its leaves rustle with the cool wind, and I am astounded to find myself

yet again in the presence of God.

And I remember:

The world is a womb.

What will God give birth to today?

Have a Great Week,

Mitch