For the third time that night my chattering teeth woke me. You’d think I could have defended myself. My foe was barely 40 pounds, but that little dude could grip a blankie.
On and on this battle waged through the night. I would awake and re-steal the covers. I would warm up and drift into a comfortable sleep. As if he could smell my security, the little minion would slowly pull the massive blanket over his tiny frame, uncovering his poor daddy in the process.
Every time I thought I had myself covered, secure, and able to finally get a little peaceful sleep I’d wake up, cold, shivering, and uncovered. My only hope was to get another cover.
The frustrated secretary scanned the school’s bulletin board looking for even the smallest hole to place this new announcement. This one came straight from the missions department: GIVE YOUR FALL BREAK TO SOMETHING THAT MATTERS.
This overseas mission trip came at a perfect time for the guilty young man. Only two weeks before he’d done what ought not be done. After all, he was training for the ministry. He was supposed to be holy. He was supposed to be different. He wasn’t. And he knew it. He was exposed—but only before himself and the Lord. His secret was safe.
This mission trip would provide cover. He’d get back to doing what really mattered; namely, sharing Christ with dying men and women. And maybe…just maybe…that chilly guilt would leave him. So, once the flustered secretary found a spot on the board, the young man happily signed his name.
It worked too. The mission trip went well. He was lauded by others as a spiritual leader. He even managed to convince himself that he really was a cut above the rest. His heart was warmed. And he drifted into a comfortable sleep as new ministry after new ministry came his way.
At times, there would still be a slight chill in his bones. The cover would get pulled away from him. He’d wake up and feel exposed again. And so he’d do what he had always done—fight for more cover.
Eventually it stopped working. The chill had gone too deep in his bones. He really only had two options. Become undone and die—forever enclosed in the ice of guilt. Or, do what he had avoided all along—get a new cover. A better cover. A cover unfathomable, one that could cover every square inch and cure any chill no matter how deep.
Shivering, tired, and slightly frustrated I shuffled into the other room and grabbed a different cover. I couldn’t help but think that had I actually done that a few hours before, my night would have been more sleep-filled.
“For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away…[Then] I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity…You are a hiding place for me…Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”
-Psalm 32 (mashed up)