Several years ago, I was walking along the beach with someone I loved deeply. And she said to me, quietly, I have a secret.
Okay, I said.
I want to tell you but I’m not sure I should, she said.
Okay, I said.
We were both quiet.
Then I said, nothing you tell me can shock me and nothing you tell me can change how much I love you.
I know, she said. We kept walking.
Then I said, I have an idea. Why don’t you write it in the sand? And then I’ll read it? And then we’ll wipe it away together right away? This way, you’ll get it out of you but it’ll be safe.
Okay, she said.
She found a stick. I stood off to the side while she wrote, looking out at the water, and then I walked over.
She had written four words in the sand. Four powerful, heart-breaking words that immediately brought tears. (Words that I won’t be sharing here because I know how to keep a secret.)
And I put my arm around her shoulders. And I said, quietly, okay. It’s okay.
And then we wiped it away. I asked if she wanted to talk about it, and she said she didn’t. So we didn’t. We kept walking. And we haven’t talked about those words in the sand that day ever since. But I could tell, truly, that she felt just a little bit lighter after she got them out of her, after she was no longer holding onto that secret that she had been carrying with such heaviness.
Sweet one, do you have a secret? Is there something from your past that you’ve been carrying, maybe carrying it so long you haven’t realized how much weight it has added to your heart and life?
Or maybe there is something going on in your life right this minute and you are covering it up and terrified that the truth will come spilling out, about who you are, about what you’re doing?
Secrets weigh us down. They add shadows to our lives. We can’t remember who to trust, including ourselves, including God. And they can leave us with such shame we stop living light-filled lives.
And it doesn’t have to be like this. God wants you to live free and clear and whole lives. (We have an enemy, on the other hand, who is THRILLED with every single secret you’re trying to keep contained.)
So, I’m coming to you today with an odd but hopefully helpful offer.
I have been on the receiving end of grace when telling a secret and I’ve been on the receiving end when a secret has been shared. I get both sides. And I’m a great secret-holder.
So if you need a listening ear, if you need to get it out of your heart and mind and into the world once and for all, and if you need a safe place, I can be that safe place for you.
Feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Do not leave a comment with your secret because these comments are public.)
What you say to me in that email will stay with me. It will be read over once, by only me, and I will say a prayer for you after I read it, and then I will delete it immediately.
The truth truly can set you free, sweet one. Do you have a secret?
Confess … to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. – James 5:16a
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