Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The fortress

I remember being a little girl and building forts out of couch cushions. We would angle them just right so they would keep each other up. My sisters and I would drape a blanket over the top for a roof and haul all kinds of stuff inside pretending that we were stranded in a blizzard back in the olden days or that we were hiding from wild animals in a dark, foreboding cave. When night fell that made it even more fun because we could take flashlights into our fort and pretend the power had gone out and giggling with glee we would create another imaginary scene where we needed rescue of some sort.

As an adult I think about those afternoons we spent inside our forts and how much fun we had keeping anyone else out. We were always sad when it was time to put the fort away. I remember feeling like our magic was disappearing as we put each part of the fort away. There is something about pretending that you are disconnected from the outside world that allows you to dream, imagine and be free for awhile. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a fort like that again...maybe it's time to build one with my kids?

In any case the fort that we build as kids is a completely different kind of fort from the one we build for ourselves as adults. I think we all have our ways of protecting ourselves from danger and sometimes when I'm feeling especially threatened I build myself an imaginary castle with a giant moat around it so that no one can come in. It feels good sometimes to retreat to my fort and protect myself for awhile. Last night I heard a really cool story about forts...

A woman was telling her son about how God promises to be our refuge in times of trouble and how we can rest beneath the shadow of his wings like a baby bird does under it's mothers. She explained to her son that God is like a fortress that we can run into and find ourselves safe from the outside world or any enemy that might be trying to harm us. She felt satisfied with her description and wondered what her son was thinking. She sat quietly next to him and waited for him to think through what she had explained to him. He turned to look at her and in a very serious voice he said, "Mom, you know the fortress isn't only where we get our protection," he paused and then with a mischevious smile he said, "It's also where we can turn around and fight."

Isn't that the truth. We can take shelter in the fortress our Lord provides us and while we are covered we can fight the battles and win the wars that wage all around us. We can rest in the hedge of protection this refuge provides, knowing that our every need is provided for.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

That is so beautiful. I too built fortresses when I was a kid, so that parallel is very comforting. I really enjoyed hearing you speak today! I hope your trip is going well.