I’m watching a movie with my parents. I’m 6, maybe 7, years old. Here comes the scary part or the racy part or the gruesome part. “Cover your eyes,” they say.
And cover them I did. Except when I thought I could get away with a little peek. Peering through my fingers I would glimpse whatever was meant to be hidden from me.
You can’t “unsee” what’s been seen.
Most of the time, no problem. Sometimes, I really wish I would have just kept my hand over my face.
Exodus 33 has an interesting dialogue between God and Moses.
Though “the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” (Exodus 33:11), apparently Moses could not look directly upon God.
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” (Exodus 33:18-23)
It occurs to me, we sometimes want to know things, experience things, see things that will lead to our death.
One might even contend that is indeed the human condition. Making choices whose consequence is death. (This is Paul’s thought in Romans 6:23)
Of course, if we knew it would lead to death perhaps we would choose differently? The problem is that so many of the dangers we face in this life seem so inconsequential, harmless even.
A little lie here. A bit of selfishness there. A word spoken in anger. A glance held a moment too long.
Little choices that can become patterns that can become behavior that can become our life.
God reaches out a hand to cover us, to protect us. To use the sacrificial language found in the Bible, God goes so far as to cover us in the blood of the lamb…in the blood of Jesus.
Covered. Protected. Sheltered. Shielded. Saved.
I suppose the question for me today is will I stay covered? Will I try to sneak-a-peek? Will I choose life or death?
Maybe this is the great question of Lent…will we recognize the difference between that which leads to life and that which leads to death? Will we trust that God knows the difference and offers to protect us?
Will I accept the shelter of God’s hand? Will you? Can we help each other makes these choices?
Life is better together,