You Are Free to Go

Suitcases and clothes were strewn across the cabin floor, some lying open in their haste to be out of the way. The girls huddled on the top bunk, watching a corner of the cabin with fear.

“It was a Mouse!” they whispered loudly. “We don’t know where he went.  He came from under your bed.”

“Ugh! Now, I have to be an adult,”  I thought.

“I’m sure he’s gone. We’ll be fine.” I helped them put the suitcases back while watching for the intruder, but no luck. Time to just go to bed. 

Weary, I peeled back my blankets, ready to be done for the day. Staring back at me, in the middle of MY bed, were two big brown eyes, wider than mine. “Mouse!” I screamed. No time to be an adult. Bedding flew everywhere as I ripped out the sheets and blankets.

We chased it behind a mini-fridge. Locating my inner adult, I unplugged it so the girls would not electrocute themselves or Herbie, the mouse they endearingly wanted to name and be rid of at the same time. Of course, there he was…..hiding behind the coil. 

“Oh, he’s so cute!” the girls exclaimed, their fear suddenly dissipated.

After a few rattles of nearby objects, Herbie decided he had enough and ran into an empty trash can. Again, they all took a moment to admire him and declare his innocence. 

“Outside!” I decided.  One girl proudly grabbed the trash and marched out the door into the wilderness of the cold, dark woods. She gently laid the can down. Herbie froze. He was safer inside his new prison than alone in the wilderness, and he knew it. Three tries later, she dumped him upside down and Herbie was forced into freedom. Free To Go.

 

It’s hard to run to freedom when the shelter of a hard exile feels safer than the unknown. Sometimes, freedom comes with a push. 

Jesus pushed. The Son of God forced the hand of evil to hang him on a cross. Suddenly, generations of suffering pounced upon Jesus, a lifetime of darkness and pain drawn to die on a cross. Then, our Messiah took that suffering to the depth of despair, crushing death with a resurrection.  The exile from God’s presence was broken. 

 

God so loved the world that God’s presence returned to the people, first as Jesus and then as the Holy Spirit forcing us into a life of freedom through Christ. Enough suffering.

You are free to go.