We’ve all played hide-and-seek, a game that holds some possibility of both excitement and fear.

Fear? Well, it did for me. The excitement was that no one would be able to find me. The fear was that no one would look for me.

I loved the idea of being stealthier (I didn’t know that word) than my friends. Winning at any game was high on my list. I wanted to hide so well that my friends would have to yell, “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” At the same time I dreaded the possibility that the sound of their searching would fade to nothing because they were gone.

When I think of hide-and-seek I think of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was the first novel published (and the best known) of the seven books in The Chronicles of Narnia.

Early in the story, siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are exploring a large old house where they are guests. Lucy, the youngest, sees a wardrobe in an otherwise empty room and wants to explore it.

Making her way to the back of the wardrobe, Lucy sees a light. It turns out the light is coming from a land called Narnia, where it happens to be snowing. She spends “hours and hours” in Narnia, and loves it.

But when she comes back through the wardrobe and yells for her brothers and sister — because she knows they must have been worried since they couldn’t find her — she has only been “gone” for a few moments.

Everyone is confused, but Lucy knows what she knows.

Four minutes

A few days ago the sun hid behind the moon. It was a total solar eclipse, and while it was not visible in Arizona or California (where I happened to be), I did see it on TV.

Perhaps the sun was playing hide-and-seek with us. It does that about every 18 months, but we rarely see it happen. Sometimes, in fact, the shadow is above or below the earth. Sometimes it happens over an ocean. Oceans, after all, cover 71% of the earth.

A particular path for an eclipse is only repeated about every 400 years, although the total solar eclipse of 2017 and the one this year both crossed parts of southern Illinois and southern Missouri. This one was total for about 3 minutes and 47 seconds in Indianapolis, Indiana.

We might think four minutes isn’t a long time to hide, but it can seem much longer.

Lucy experienced that in her first visit to Narnia.

Hide-and-seek

Lucy’s siblings teased her about her tale of a magic land, although the older ones (Peter and Susan) didn’t persist.

Then several days later the four of them decided to play hide-and-seek. Lucy took the opportunity to look into the wardrobe again, which had been tested by Peter and found to be quite solid.

Edmund saw Lucy disappear into the wardrobe, and he followed her in so he could continue tormenting her. He was not a very nice brother.

This time both Lucy and Edmund, separately and neither knowing about the other, went through the wardrobe into Narnia. Eventually they both returned, though Edmund denied he was in Narnia so he could tease Lucy.

But when a group of sight-seers came to tour the famous old house, all four children hid in the wardrobe — and found themselves in Narnia.

“Could there really be a magical world?” Susan had asked the professor, who owned the house. He thought it was most likely, and now she knew he was right.

Hiding in plain sight

In this world, there are many occasions when the occupants hide — including we humans.

According to Britannica, every species of chameleon has the ability to undergo a color change. But it is, they say, “a popular misconception” that the chameleon changes its color to match the background.

Still, they do change color sometimes due to fright or other emotions. Does it help them avoid predators? Possibly, and when that is the case they can hide in plain sight.

Once I was SCUBA diving inside a coral reef near Tahiti. A dive master was in front of me, partly to point out things and partly to keep me safe. I looked around but kept an eye on him, and when he stopped, I stopped.

He took his dive knife out of its sheath and used it to point to the sand. I looked, but all I saw was sand, so I shook my head. He moved the point of the knife a little closer to the sand, and I moved in but still didn’t see.

He held up his other hand so I wouldn’t get closer, then prodded the seabed with his knife. Out darted a stonefish, and I’m certain I jumped backwards even though I was floating in water.

The stonefish is the most venomous fish in the ocean. I was within four feet of one and could not see it.

Don’t hide

Sometimes we ourselves try to blend in, change our colors, or bury ourselves in our surroundings. We do that so people can look right at us and not see us.

One way we “blend in” for our own safety is to agree with popular opinion. The Arizona Supreme Court recently upheld a law banning most abortions. The hue and cry from those who were disappointed was this: “That isn’t the popular position.”

Are laws made and revoked on popularity? I hope not. But many who disagree with the “popular” opinion are afraid to disagree in public.

Here is my simple point: if we want to do good, we will at some point have to stand up for good.

We should not duck behind the moon, hide in a wardrobe, or try to blend in. We should speak the truth, like Lucy did. She could have stopped the teasing, but lying is not good.

The more we bring good out into the open, the more good will be done.

Be bold with good, and let the world see it.

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