The man told them his darkest secret. He had a problem with pornography.
Not a secret, really. He’d told others. But these were teens.
I wondered: Would parents call? Complain? Remove their kids from his supervision?
They didn’t. They knew something I did not know.
I was witnessing something I had seldom seen: transparency.
It’s when we let others see what makes us stumble–what our personal struggle is–the part we wish didn’t exist and we hope no one would ever know about.
But here he was spilling the chili beans out in the open right on the carpet for all to see.
Then I began to see. Kids opened up about their own struggles. Not right then and there, but over time. They were honest. They were transparent–just as he had been.
They could tell their own secrets because they felt safe. There was no perfect person who would look shocked, be offended, and see them differently forever. There was acceptance from another who struggles also.
Transparency is necessary to fulfill a biblical command: Bear one another’s burdens.
How else can we ever overcome such trials? The burden is too heavy to bear alone. We were never meant to carry it alone. We were meant to share its weight.
To carry the trials of others and have them help us in carrying ours.
Pride shows itself when we don’t want to let others know what’s goes on inside us. We don’t want to admit our envy or problem with porn–or food–or anger. We don’t want someone else to see who we really are. But when we shut them away from our true selves, they have no one to show themselves to.
The masks we wear get heavy too.
And that is how Christians become isolated. And that is how our burdens weigh us down over years.
My struggles usually involve anger or food. You don’t want to be the telemarketer who sets me off on the wrong day. Over the years, I find the frequency of my need to apologize is reduced–but not ended. Walking a straighter path, I still stumble.
And food. How much time do I spend thinking about how I feel? Tired. Excited. Afraid. Wounded. Happy. Food is good for drowning our sorrows and fabulous for celebrating just about anything. Anything.
Chocolate works especially well. But any sort of sugary treat makes me feel better–or good for a short time. So much better than I just don’t want to stop.
I want to extend the good feelings.
Especially the ones I get from chocolate–until my stomach is in pain. And even then, just a little bit more.
Here is who I am. If you struggle thusly, I’m walking your way.
I know I am not alone.
You are not alone either.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
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