I sit in my kitchen with the door to my yard cracked open. I watch my cats outside lounging by their favorite spot, waiting for the sun to reach the perfect angle that will have it’s glorious rays soak their fur-covered skin with vitamin D.
They peer intently at the stray cat that is taking a bath a couple yards away. Unbeknownst to them, he’s also made their home his. Despite this stranger bathing in their territory, they know the door is open, and they can run for cover if need be. Nonetheless, they enjoy the early morning breeze before the heat becomes unbearable (I can’t imagine being a Miami-native, fur-covered cat).
They feel safe.
I sip my pure Dominican coffee, purchased in Santo Domingo (oh, glory) as I sit in my kitchen and listen to my favorite band blare through the speakers. It’s a beautiful morning. I’ve spent the night alone in a house a bit too big to have only one person occupy it. My prayers before dozing off went something like this: “God, keep me from any danger…”
As 8am rolled around and my eyes popped open, I realized my prayers were answered. As I let the coffee brew and fed the cats, my heart sang a song of thanksgiving.
I feel safe.
Safety. I realize how crucial it is to feel safe. In Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, he esteemed the human need for safety right above physiological needs like breathing, eating or drinking. Once our physical needs are met, safety needs take precedence—personal, health, financial, etc. Lack of safety in any of these areas leads to trauma, stress, loss of appetite and sleep, neurosis or even psychosis.
Feeling physically safe is pretty crucial to human development. It’s no wonder God makes reference to that in so many places in Scripture. He created us for the longing of safety.
But is it only physical safety we seek?
It’s a broken world. We can all agree. Danger and threat lurks at every corner—physically, but also emotionally. Promises are broken, words aren’t kept, trust is shattered. We keep ourselves guarded from vulnerability. We keep our hearts safe, in order that it may not face the danger of pain.
C.S. Lewis explained this perfectly when he said: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.”
True Love is selflessly scandalous. True Love is outrageously vulnerable. True Love doesn’t wrap itself with self-indulgences, but it exposes itself. True Love dies a death it doesn’t deserve, in order to pay a debt it doesn’t owe. True Love goes through extreme measures so that it’s lover can rest in safety. This Love is patient. This Love is kind—it does not envy or boast—it is not arrogant or rude. This Love is not irritable or resentful or insist in it’s own way. This Love bears all things. This Love believes all things. This Love hopes all things. This Love endures all things.
This Love is safe. This Love is Jesus.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and a buckler.” Psalm 91
Rest in safety today. Rest in the Most High.