There’s a moment in one of my favorite British TV series where one character asks/yells at another, “ARE YOU HAVING AN EARTHQUAKE?!” The first time I heard it, it made me laugh. That scene has been running through my mind a lot lately. It’s shifted from a funny phrase spouted off by a fictional character, to the perfect description of my emotional landscape some days.
I feel the ground shake when I think there’s a chance I’ve dissapointed someone. My adrenaline spikes and I look for the nearest desk to hide under when I sense conflict in the air. The trembling moves to my limbs, and my stomach churns as I try to jump over the cracks of uncertainty.
Did God really say? Will He really take care of me? Will they still love me if I let them down? How do I keep walking when the ground is shaking and I can barely stand?
I grew up in tornado country. I’ve spent my share of sleepless nights huddled in a dark basement, hiding from the storm. Because hiding was surviving. I asked Google for a little help with earthquake preparedness today, and from what I can tell, the strategy is a little different. Instead of hiding in the dark, they tell you to get out into the open. Get away from buildings, trees, and powerlines. Get into the open, and wait for the shaking to stop.
Sometimes the safest place, is in the open. In the light. It might be scarier at first, because in the light you can see more clearly how everything trembles. But in the end, it’s better than hiding in the dark and finding yourself trapped under a weight you can’t lift.
When I’m having an earthquake on the inside, my instinct is to hide in the dark. But God calls me to step into the light of His love, and of community. To confess my brokenness, my confusion, my fear, and ask for help. Because that’s where salvation is found. Only in that place of being fully seen, even in my trembling weakness, can I be fully loved. And His love is the safest place.
The Lord is my light and my salvation - so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? Psalm 27:1