Sometimes when things get overwhelming, I really feel the close quarters we share with our African neighbors, or I just need an escape of sorts, I resort to our roof.
(You can lose the visual of me sitting up high on the peak of the house, at night, with an old rusty ladder propped up against the house, while I hold on to the shingles for dear life. Roofs here are flat and perfectly safe. It’s also where we store our water tank and dry our laundry.)
The idea of having “an escape” was especially hard for me when we first moved to Guinea because I realized that I didn’t really have anywhere to escape to! I didn’t have anywhere to go. Living in the US I was used to having the option and the freedom to jump in the car, go for a drive, go sit at a coffee shop or go to the park to think, pray and have a moment to myself.
It was when we moved to Dakar, Senegal and settled into our apartment that I discovered the solitude of the rooftop.
Even though I haven’t really distanced myself much at all from the (often stressful) happenings of life, I have a better, different and higher view than I had five minutes ago. It really can change our perspective when we distance ourselves from a situation.
I love sitting up on the roof, watching over our little neighborhood. I feel like I’m looking inside the pages of a colorfully illustrated book. I watch people come and go, and the kids as they run around chasing each other. I listen to the constant chatter and activity at the well, and I take in the beauty of the palm trees against the sky.
My favorite time to go up on the roof is at night. Even though, yes, you do have to watch out for those bats – they’ve been known to swoop down low! While during the day there’s a lot to observe, at night things are normally very quiet and peaceful. This time of year it’s cool and there is usually a nice breeze in the air.
It’s a time to talk to God. To tell him about my day. To tell him about my frustrations, fears, hopes and dreams. BECAUSE HE CARES. Because throughout the hecticness of life I forget that he’s there for me. I forget that he has a plan for my life. I go up to the roof, and in the quiet of the night he reminds me that he isn’t time zones away from me. HE’S PRESENT, and he will NEVER leave or change. He’s capable to sustain and comfort me, he reminds me that he IS so very trustworthy.
Where do you go to escape? If you were to spend some time alone up on our roof tonight, soaking in the cool breeze and the quiet of the moment, away from all the distractions of life, what would Jesus whisper in your ear? What truth about himself would he remind you of?
Thankful for little escapes and reminders such as these,