The news had been providing updates and warnings about the storm coming in from the west. TV stations broadcasted monster waves crashing against the bulwarks and coast guard ships bouncing like rubber ducks in a child’s bathtub. Hurricane force winds were lashing England’s south coast. In the safety and quietness of my hotel, it all seemed far away.
As I woke to rattling windows, I realized the storm was passing overhead. As I looked out the windows the usually busy street was eerily empty. Nothing was moving. I could not see any people. There were no cars as far as I could see. With each big wind gust, a few bits of paper would fly but that was it.
As I looked at the clock I realized that most were up for the day. 7 am in a big city was well into most individual’s daily routine. In this storm, everyone in this neighborhood had found shelter. It was an interesting contrast to the vulnerability later in the day as we ventured out. The wind was still blowing. London’s transportation systems were not quite functioning. It felt slightly unnerving. It was as if the normal fear that comes up from time to time during the day had been amplified. There was a sharp edge that carried a bit of fear and risk.
I did my best to stay in safe places. It does not always work that way. Sometimes one is left exposed, unprotected from the elements. It is not always obvious where one can find safety. I realized in my quest to move from one safe place to another that there were reference truths to each.
I only found safe places that I recognized. There may have been others, but I never saw them.
Others did not always see or understand my safe places.
Some were willing to invite me over to their safe places while others focused only on themselves.
The process left me listening to David’s whisper; “God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.” (Psalm 46.1)