by Delores Carr
I do cherish my privacy. When dusk comes, I start closing shades and curtains on every window, all of them designed for privacy. My need may come from a number of “window peeper” incidents in my life. I remember an incident from when I was about five or six years old. I was in bed for the night. It was summer and we had no air conditioning, so after lights-out, Mom would open the Venetian blinds to let in whatever breeze there might be. I saw a man’s head outside going back and forth across my window. I kept going to my Mom’s bedroom crying in fear. She assured me there was no one there. She even took a quick peek out the window. Finally, she closed the shades, and put on a nightlight. The next day, our neighbor told us her sister’s boyfriend had been stalking her the night before, and looked in their windows from between our houses!
As a teen, there was a voyeur in our neighborhood. My parents observed him looking in a neighbor’s window (which was NOT covered for privacy), and we heard him outside our home twice. I have since wondered why my parents did not call the police.
And again in adulthood there was a window peeper in our neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch chased him a number of times. We heard him run between our house and our neighbor’s, with the Watch in hot pursuit. We took extra precautions to be sure there were no cracks where he might see in. Physical privacy is important to me.
We often feel the need to protect our hearts and thoughts from the view of others. Self-protection is a strong motivator. Perhaps there is something in our lives we just don’t want others to see. So, we put up curtains and try to make sure there are no cracks where anyone might see into our lives. We don’t want people to see how inadequate we feel. We don’t want others to see that sometimes our faith is weak. Or that sometimes we get angry at our husband or children—or at them. Too often, we think we can hide ourselves from God; that certain things in our life are private even from God. So we pray using pious words we think God “expects” us to use, although in our heart of hearts, we know this is foolish.
We know God said, “…for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts.” I Chronicles 28:9b NKJV. Psalm 44:21 tells us he knows the secrets of the heart.
Many years ago my husband and I attended a seminar for ministers and wives. Dr. Richard Dobbins, PHD and pastor, was the speaker. In talking about honesty before God, he made a statement that absolutely liberated me in my prayer times. He said, “When you are talking with the Lord, just say what you really feel. He already knows anyway!! So just get it out in front where the two of you can talk about it.” So instead of saying the proper thing, which is just trying to put up a curtain to hide your true feelings, it’s okay to say, “Lord, Sis. Gossipy Mouth said the ugliest thing about my kid today, and I am mad as a hornet. I really need You to help me calm down, and I really need Your grace to even be civil to her. You said Your grace is sufficient, and I need that grace today, because I don’t seem to have any.” Now you and the Lord are on the same page, in the same room, and the curtains are open.
I encourage you to read Psalm 139 and be blessed, knowing you do not have to protect your privacy from the Lord.
Delores, and her husband, David, have been married for 54 years, and have one son and one daughter as well as two grandsons and one granddaughter that they cherish. They have a long and rich history of ministry. From youth pastor to senior pastor, from church planter to teaching in AG Bible colleges, they have covered this nation from coast to coast. Delores has been director and teacher in pre-school programs, filled the pulpit from time-to-time, and has been a speaker to women's groups. She loves music and writing, and hopes to one day write a book about her family history in the Ozarks.
5/21/2019 12:28:46 pm
Delores, thank you for sharing a topic that I'm quite sure resonates with the heart of most of us. You are right: God does know our thoughts--we might as well be honest and verbalize those thoughts. Let's open the curtains!
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