It’s interesting how God speaks sometimes. He really does get you when you least expect it! I was watching a DVD of one of my favourite TV shows. A character said something that caught my attention, “Imagine if you had some deep, dark secret ... something that brought you tremendous shame. But instead of being able to hide it away, you had to wear it on your skin, so that the first time anyone saw you, they saw your secret.”
It was quite a sobering thought. As I thought about it, I realised how easily we can judge people on their outward appearance - and how hard we can work at making ourselves look ‘normal’ and ‘all-together’ on the outside, by hiding the darker and shameful parts of our lives.
We can very quickly condemn people in our minds, people such as: an addict struggling to beat their addiction; a person struggling with their sexual identity or bondages, trying to find freedom from their chains; an overweight person who can’t lose weight; even a physically disabled person. Yet are we truly that much different from these people?
The truth is most, if not all of us, have things in our lives we would rather not share with others. We have issues in our lives that we can hide until we’re behind closed doors. It may be easier for us to hide some of our secrets. But others may have to deal with the stigma of wearing theirs on the outside, for all to see.
Yet to God, there’s no hidden place. While we’re busy maintaining a good presentation of ourselves and looking at others from the outside in, He’s looking at us from the inside out. He’s looking at what’s hidden - the secrets, the fears and the dark areas. He’s not looking in judgement, but in love, wanting to reach into those areas that have been closed off from His love.
So next time you see someone who has to wear shame on their outward being, remember God sees your secrets just as clearly. Remember that He wants to bring healing to them as well as you.
Prayer: Father God, I acknowledge that I can judge people by what I see and recognise that I can try to hide my shameful, secret areas - even from You. Please help me to open up those dark areas to Your love so I can receive healing in its fullness. Amen.