"Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are!"


November 9, 2018

As the happy grandparents of six, my wife Elaine and I have enjoyed many overnights as one, two, or more of our grandkids spent the night with us at “Mimi and Pop’s house.”

Titus and Thaddeus, two of our youngest grandsons, finally got old enough to spend the night together with us. They’re cousins, close in age at four years old; they’re best friends and virtually inseparable. Throughout the recent Friday afternoon and Saturday morning they spent with us, I heard not a harsh word pass between them, nor did they have any of the normal kid disagreements or altercations.

They’re definitely “all boy” however, partaking in fun male activities such as yelling “High five!” then slapping each other on the forehead.

Sometime Saturday morning, they decided to play hide and seek. Thad was “it” first so, while he slowly counted in his precious little 4-year-old voice, “One…two…free…fou-ah…fiiive…”, Titus ran to the other end of the house and hid under the dining room table.

As soon as Thad reached “ten”, he began his search by calling out, “Titus, where are you?”

“Under the table!” answered his friend. Thad immediately ran to the table and “found” Titus. He crawled out from under the table and they celebrated Titus’ finding for a bit. Then Thad was “it” again. While he counted, I, not quite getting the object of the game, helped Titus find a good hiding spot. I picked him up by the arms, swung him through the air, and dropped him behind a big overstuffed chair, which sat in the corner of two walls. A great hiding spot! I thought.

Again, as soon as he finished counting, Thad shouted “Titus, where are you?”

Behind the chair!” a somewhat muffled voice sounded. It took a bit of work and all Thad’s help to extricate Titus from his “hiding” spot, after which they rejoiced again.

*  *  *  *  *

It seems Titus and Thaddeus have discovered the true purpose, the real fun, of the hide and seek game.

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’

(Luke 15:4-7, The Message)

Would that I, when I’m trying to hide from Jesus, be quick to follow the example of my two precious grandsons…

“Where are you, Wesley?”

“Under the table, Jesus!”

“Yay!! I found you! Let’s celebrate, my best friend!!

Wes Russell is the happy dad of three adult children and “Pop” to his six grandkids. He is a Caregiver and Group Leader with the Transformational Healing Ministry at Heritage Christian Church, Columbus, Ohio.

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