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All-y, All-y in Free!
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Humans are hardwired for connection. We need each other! That’s why family is so important. There is a large body of research that points to our need for relationships and the problems of what social scientists call “social isolation.” God truly created us for relationships and we suffer when we don’t experience them fully.

God affirms all creation as “good” except one thing. In Genesis 2:18 we read, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” Eve is then created from Adam’s rib and Adam awakens from his surgery to find his companion. They were “both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25).

A few verses later in Genesis chapter three, we read about the seduction of Eve by the serpent, she and Adam’s disobedient act, and finally hiding from God as He comes to meet with them in the garden. Fear and shame immediately rear their ugly heads and Adam and Eve feel the need to hide.

Growing up, I lived in a neighborhood filled with kids. On long summer evenings we happily played games like “hide and seek” and “kick the can.” In the game of hide and seek, one person is “it” and counts to an agreed upon number while the others go and hide. The point of the game is for the person who is “it” to find one of the hidden people and race back to “base” and get them out so that person is “it.” Once someone is caught and proclaimed “it” everyone else gets to come home free. At that point someone might yell out, “All-y, all-y in free,” which means it is safe to come out of hiding.

Hiding Relationally

While childhood games of hiding are fun, what happens when we “hide” relationally? We are created for human connection, but brokenness and sin cause shame and fear which lead to the inability to connect effectively with others. “Hiding” may occur in relationships in some of the following forms:

  • Pretending to be someone other than who I am for fear you won’t like the real me.
  • Burying my true feelings for fear of being rejected.
  • “Numbing” behaviors such as overeating, the use of alcohol, or any addictions that lessen my feelings of pain.
  • Covering my real feelings with aggressive behaviors like anger, manipulation and control.
  • The inability to be vulnerable for fear of being rejected and needing to look perfect.
Some of us have become expert hiders, but God has called us out of hiding. In Jesus Christ we find an exit from the way of fear and shame and the freedom to love and be loved completely. Jesus calls out “All-y, all-y in free!” Come home; it’s safe now.

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By Nancy A. Gerard. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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