“Shut in with God in a Secret Place,” a song of unknown authorship, invites me to create a space where I remove every distraction and focus entirely upon God. Truthfully, both removing and focusing are a challenge.
Exteriority may be the natural tendency of the sinful heart. Eve and Adam, after their disobedience, practiced exteriority when they hid from God. Maybe, without thinking, they “hid” their exterior.
Surely, our first parents knew their interiority sourced the broken relationship and took the greatest damage. The inclination of the heart, from then until now, is to build a false sense of security through personal emphasis on exteriority.
In hiding my exterior, maybe my shattered and paralyzed interior won’t be noticed. Maybe my idolatry, fraudulence, incompetence, and self preservation can hide from God too.
In the secret place with God I gain the faith to come out from my misbelief that I can and should hide my true heart condition. This same faith walks with me, broken and contrite, toward God.
In this journey toward God, I discover my fears are completely unwarranted.
“The quickest way for anyone to reach the sun and the light of day is not to run west, chasing after the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise.” Gerald L. Sittser, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss