Spiritual Agoraphobia

There was a time when I couldn't survive without fences. I built them for all sorts of reasons, but mostly because they were comforting. They reminded me that in this dangerous world, it was 'safe' in my little pen. I had answers and boundaries. God would visit me there of course. He would nod politely and pat me on the head as I showed Him the sturdy construction. He was never quite as excited about my project as I wanted Him to be. "Look," I'd say "This section is stained mahogany."

"That's nice." He would say, offering some nonplement (a sort of neutered complement) like, "Wow, I bet that took a while to build."

"It did. Thanks." I would say.

It went on like this. He would come visit, I could tell Him how I didn't do anything severely sinful or heretical since the fences were in place. He would ask if I had any questions. "Sure, do you think I should stain the Mahogony a shade darker? Steve says you prefer a darker shade." As I hadn't yet learned what a facepalm was, I was confused why he was slapping his forehead.

During one of His visits, as we were playing a hearty game of chutes and ladders, He, obviously bored, stood up and said with a twinkle in his eye, "Let's go for a walk" then moved to the edge of my pen, up to the fence, and leaped over it cowboy style then kept on walking till he disappeared over the horizon of my world.

And there I stood, arms on smooth Mahogany, chin on arms, watching, waiting, wondering if maybe I should have followed, leaning hard against the rail, hard enough that I heard the faintest crack pound in my ears. It all made me wonder what these fences were really keeping me from and how strong they really were.