The notion of having a hiding place or shelter is as old as mankind. Shelter, in fact, is one of the five “Basic Needs” of survival; air, water, food, shelter and sleep. As kids most of us played hide and seek. Though the games varied from place to place it was all couched on hiding themselves, not getting caught, or getting to “home base” safely. One of my daughters, Catherine, was a pro at hiding. Sometimes we would spend an hour trying to find her. Playing games is all well and good. But, the thrill of playing such a game and not getting caught (being safe) has much deeper implications, not necessarily bad.

There seems to be an inherent need for people to have a “safe place.” Our kids called it their “happy place” as school children. When the circumstances of life become hard there is a drive to find that safe place. Our instincts to hide and shelter ourselves once played as a game now becomes a desperate reality. I have spent a lifetime trying to help hurting people. Whether it was teenagers wrestling with identity, people facing the tragedy of personal loss, the person searching for purpose and self-worth, the person reeling from the hard situations of life, a person heartbroken in relationships gone bad, the person buffeted by shame, guilt or bitterness, everyone constructs a place that they hope brings safety or relief from those circumstances. Unfortunately, many people choose safe places that are not safe. A bottle or a pill or a brief liaison or sleep or a group or an alternate reality or avoidance only delay the inevitable.

I am convinced in working with so many people affected with Hoarding Disorder that the unusual patterns of behavior and clutter is but a subconscious attempt to create a safe place, one of isolation and insulation. Sadly, it is rarely ever safe. In my life I have discovered the one safe place that is ever available, even in the midst of terrible trials and failure and fear and heartbreak, is the loving presence of Father God through the only door given to access that presence, Jesus Christ.

I just finished reading the book Unbroken. Here is the incredible story of Louie Zamperini; delinquent, Olympian, war hero, P.O.W., alcoholic, hater, minister. His life was forever changed when he discovered forgiveness, freedom and the only real hiding place, a personal relationship with Holy God. It just so happens that the person God used to reach him was Billy Graham who recently passed away. Master Your Disaster was begun to help hurting people. The needs vary and situations are all different, but the ultimate answer is always the same-Faith and Forgiveness, the two things every person needs. These things can never be forced upon another person and must be couched in recognition of meeting immediate needs like food, water, shelter, air and sleep. As I raise money to help meet these immediate needs it is always with the intent of lovingly sharing the ultimate hiding place. Will you join me?