My "Tent of Meeting"
Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp; he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp... When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses...Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. » Ex 33:7,9,11a
I read this wonderful passage today concerning Moses and the tent of meeting. Oh, I know I've read it many times before, but today it struck me differently. I asked myself, where is MY tent of meeting, MY place outside the camp where I can seek the Lord. For sure, I can seek Him at any moment, in any place. But do I have that special place where I can withdraw, and have a face to face encounter with my God?
And then it struck me. I do have such a place. My tent of meeting is under my mosquito net. And that just seems so right. You see, my mosquito net has come to symbolize something much more than just protection from malaria-bearing mosquitoes, though that is already great. I take my net with me every time I travel outside of Kinshasa. The first thing I do, when I arrive at a new location, is figure out how to string up my net. It is dissuasion for the pesky mosquitoes, for sure, but I have come to appreciate it as well as protector from all the creepy, crawly and flying creatures that inhabit the many rooms that I have slept in. It is there I find rest from the all too often "overwhelmingness" of living here in this context. Somehow, having that net covering me, protecting me as I sleep, no matter where I am, no matter what my circumstances, has given me a sense of security, a sense of belonging. A sense of God with me.
So it only seems right to choose my mosquito net as my tent of meeting. That safe place where I can disassociate myself from everything that is going on around me, to simply be safe with my God. To talk with Him. To meet with Him. To hear His voice. To see Him and be seen by Him. Face to face. Like with a friend.