The way we experience God every day is in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We can’t help but respond by changing — some call it growing. This is individual. It is personal and it is communal. The Holy Spirit is present, leading us deeper into the wisdom of God through our honesty and openness with one another.
Even if we choose not to reveal ourselves it is evident through our life. Don’t you think?
One of my favorite quotes is by Lev Tolstoy is
“A writer is dear and necessary for us only in the measure of which he reveals to us the inner workings of his very soul.“
I believe it. I believe that is what makes writing such a healing and positive thing for me and for those that follow along — the openness. The honesty.
Henri Nouwen put it this way in Bread for the Journey:
We like to make a distinction between our private and public lives and say, “Whatever I do in my private life is nobody else’s business.” But anyone trying to live a spiritual life will soon discover that the most personal is the most universal, the most hidden is the most public, and the most solitary is the most communal. What we live in the most intimate places of our beings is not just for us but for all people. That is why our inner lives are lives for others. That is why our solitude is a gift to our community, and that is why our most secret thoughts affect our common life.
Jesus says, “No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). The most inner light is a light for the world. Let’s not have “double lives”; let us allow what we live in private to be known in public.
I do believe transparency within (trusted) community is crucial to the spiritual life. Keeping our private lives full of secrets only encourages more secrecy.
I have experienced that transparency pulls me toward God. He longs for us. And by doing so, often it throws me down on my knees. Humbles me. And within a community where there is mutual dependence, it draws others in thus allowing space for their own transformation. That is the miracle. That is it. The moment in which the attributes of God are seen us. That is everything. That is the resurrection and atonement all over again.
Has this been true in your life? You don’t have to tell me of course, but I urge you to tell someone. And if you find it difficult to reveal yourself — your true self — to others ask yourself why? And what are you going to do about it?
Be well friends.