Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, September 30, 2018
Prayer While Hiding
I was struck by Father Nouwen’s descriptive words in this reading tonight. “When God asked Adam, ‘Where are you?’ Adam answered, ‘I was hiding.’ He confessed his true condition.”
Wow. Double wow. That is so true of me, too. I hide so much. I hide from other people, from obligations, from opportunities, from myself. Oh, yeah…I often hide from God, too. Why do I do that? What is my motivation? (Other than the obvious.)
One big motivation happens to anyone who is leading an organization. A large building under construction needs to be using an advance team, according to the daily news blurb. But, what about this particular large building? Are the workers at this particular building staying current with all official procedure?
We could look at Adam in the recently-completed Garden of Eden and compare him to the staff in the building in Evanston. Both had official things they had to do. Both had complaints made against them. What kind of complaints? Complaints of not following through, problems of shirking the assigned tasks.
Did both sets of employees know what they were doing? (Or, NOT doing, in either case.) Yes. Both were aware of NOT doing what they were assigned to do. In Adam’s case, he got all flustered, and afraid. Adam hid himself.
The Lord knows very well what happened. The Lord knows where Adam hid, and goes straight there. The Lord was gracious and merciful to Adam, and will always be gracious and merciful to any of God’s children who struggle with keeping to the straight and narrow.
What does Father Nouwen say? “Certainly praying takes some admissions. It requires the humble recognition of our condition as broken human beings.”  When we realize that God loves us anyway, even though we mess up, even though we are broken and are in need to repair, God loves us anyway.
“If we cling tightly to our own weaknesses, faults, shortcomings, and our twisted past, to all of the events, facts, and situations which we would prefer to cut out of our own history, we are only hiding behind a hedge through which everyone can see.” 
Dear Lord, in Your mercy, forgive me. Forgive my sin. Forgive me when I run away and hide, just like Adam. Thank You for loving me anyway. In Your name we pray, amen.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 With Open Hands: Bring Prayer into Your Life, Henri J. M. Nouwen (United States of America: Ave Maria Press, 2005), 88.
 Ibid, 89.