All Carrie Courtland wants is to hide from a life that has brought her nothing but pain. Her quiet hometown seems just the place—-until a murder turns her world upside down. A woman who is afraid of life. A man who has seen too much of it. Can they find common ground in time to defeat a ruthless killer . . .
These are the first lines I came up with to pitch the book I wrote.* They’re supposed to help readers empathize with the heroine and entice them to pick up my story. Have you ever felt like Carrie? I wrote her character this way because I can relate—well, except for the handsome leading man and ruthless killer part!
In the past, when the chaos of this world pressed in, I sometimes found myself wishing for a safe place to hide. And when hiding wasn’t possible, I tried to keep my life uneventful and narrow it down to the bare essentials. In some superstitious part of my mind, I figured then I’d have less to lose when trouble came along.
I felt this way until about ten years ago when a coworker at my little Christian school contracted cancer. Here she and I were “sacrificing” to be in ministry. The only way we could afford an apartment was to share one. All this young woman wanted was to teach a few years, then marry a man in uniform, and settle down to raise a family of her own. But her life ended at age thirty after months of suffering.
I remember saying to God, “Wait a minute. We have nothing—no fortunes, no families, no power, no prestige—only our lives. How could you let Satan or disease or disaster take the only thing we had to call our own?”
And that was my first mistake. I forgot that our lives are not our own. I’ve been bought with a price. I belong to Christ. As did my coworker. My second mistake was this: I forgot that the Lord did provide a secret place, not for our bodies but for our souls. Colossians 3 tells me that I’m hidden with Christ in God. Here’s the whole section . . .
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Isn’t that a great promise? It’s even better in the Message: “Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.”
So whether on earth or in heaven, He is my safe place. And I praise Him for that!
How about you? Have you ever wanted to hide from what was happening in your life? How did you handle it? Any words of encouragement or praise? Please share with me!
*Are you wondering if Carrie ever learned the lesson of the safe place? If God opens the door, you’ll be able to read her story for yourself! To keep tabs on my progress, you can sign up for the monthly newsletter I’ll be starting in 2012 at this link.