No Use Hiding

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Even heard the phrase “hiding in plain sight?”

Maybe you’ve seen a child run and hide behind an object too small to conceal them.

I once tried to hide behind a tree with a diameter much like a light pole! We were rolling (with toilet paper) someone’s yard, and a car pulled in and shined their lights on us! My hiding only added comic relief to the situation. I was fully exposed!

I’ve been thinking about this idea of hiding in plain sight. I think I do this a lot.

I ‘hide’ (airquotes) my weaknesses. I ‘hide’ my critical attitude. I ‘hide’ my insecurity.

But I’m not sure I’m really all that hidden. I mean, I’m starting to realize that people can see me whether I try to hide or not. So my hiding is not only futile, it’s exhausting and frustrating, too.

Am I the only one? Or do you hide, too?

A friend recently gave me a little book entitled, A Gospel Primer, by Milton Vincent. The basic premise is this: the good news about Jesus isn’t just for people who don’t know Jesus.

In order for those of us who call ourselves “Christians” to really experience the gospel, we need to preach it to ourselves every day.

Here’s an excerpt that I’ve been chewing on these past few days of Holy Week:

The cross also exposes me before the eyes of other people, informing them of the depth of my depravity. If I wanted others to think highly of me, I would conceal the fact that a shameful slaughter of the perfect Son of God was required that I might be saved. But when I stand at the foot of the Cross and am seen by others under the light of that Cross, I am left uncomfortably exposed before their eyes. Indeed, the most humiliating gossip that could ever be whispered about me is blared from Golgotha’s hill; and my self-righteous reputation is left in ruins in the wake of its revelations. With the worst facts about me thus exposed to the view of others, I find myself feeling that I truly have nothing left to hide.

Thankfully, the more exposed I see that I am by the Cross, the more I find myself opening up to others about ongoing issues of sin in my life…And the more open I am in confessing my sins to fellow Christians, the more I enjoy the healing of the Lord in response to their grace-filled counsel and prayers. (Vincent, 34)

Honestly, I have never really considered that the crucifixion of Jesus really exposes my depravity to everyone. Maybe it’s because I don’t reflect on the ugliness of my sin. And maybe it’s because there is a culture within Christianity – I’ll call it being religious – which promotes the need to hide your brokenness and weakness.

So I’ll just say it:  Jesus had to endure a gruesome, humiliating death because my sinful brokenness is that bad. Yep, I’m a mess. And I’m a pastor.

But this reality has not buried me in shame. Instead it’s giving me a deeper affection for God. Every good thing that has occurred in me and through me has been a result of the grace and goodness of God.

I’m thankful for this because it is stirring something inside me. And I think it’s going to unlock a new freedom I have longed to know.

This is my story. But it’s true of you, too.

So let’s not hide anymore.

It’s not like you can’t see me, anyway!

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