I saw this sign for the first time this week. It was in the hotel where I stayed at the end of the floor. I checked it out and in the case of a weather event it is where people in wheel chairs or with mobility issues go to be safe during the storm. I had never heard a safety area called an ‘area of refuge’ and yet the name truthfully applies.
At one time or another in life we all need an area of refuge. We need to be protected from physical harm, emotional scarring and the worst of all neglect. All too often it is others who treat us poorly. They may not intend harm, yet that is the end result. We need somewhere to go where we are safe, if only until we find a better place to rest. That area of refuge may be a place, a car, a barn, someone’s sofa bed, or the guest room in our best friend’s house. Where ever it is, you know when you are there.
I have a friend who is in the process of making a very tough choice about her future…divorce may be the end result. We talked for a long time and I let her know she has an area of refuge if she needs one. Sometimes you only need to know the area exists – you may never go there, yet in times of turmoil knowing you have somewhere safe to go can make it all bearable. To have that place of refuge you may need to provide that place of refuge for someone else. Your words, your kindness, your encouragement, your listening ear…all of these can provide an area that gives enough to make someone feel safe from the storm. Being ready is a requirement, no matter the time or place you are needed. Be that area of refuge for someone else, and the area you need one day will be there when you need it.