Jesus said to his disciples,
“Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible;
nothing is secret except to come to light. – Mk 4:21-25
I do not remember how I learned to “hide things” but I am sure, like many things, I first saw my parents do it. If something broke, went missing, didn’t go well “don’t tell so and so … they’ll get really mad.” The classic picking up the phone and an adult in the house urging you to say, “sorry they’re not home right now…” These events shaped me for school, where despite every teacher’s encouragement to say the truth and although the worst thing that could happen was a time out, the law of the playground stated “Snitches get stitches.” There is a profound fear in lies. White lies, small lies, and lies of omission …they all stem from fear.
My lies always came from the fear rejection. I struggle to be vulnerable to get close by not telling the whole story. I was afraid what others might say or think about me, sometimes I still am. Even when I went back to church in college, I would simply leave, wherever I was and say “bye guys I’m going to bed,” and I would go to mass (it was at 9pm on Sunday, hello college), without any details or invitations, for fear that people would know I was Catholic. People cannot know, they will make fun of me or think I am a crazy fanatic. At least that is what I told myself.
Beyond that surface level fear, was the fear that I needed to end the double life. That if someone knew how much God wanted me, that I wanted God too, that I would be held to a certain standard. That I would be encouraged in my faith, be set apart and I would have to leave the darkness and live out my faith. Vulnerability shouldn’t be a fear but it is. The people that I assumed would be making fun of me didn’t really know me. The end of the double life meant I would have to let myself be known.
It was and still is a long journey to not hide anymore. To live out my freedom. To let my yes be my yes, to say no. To set boundaries. To know there is nowhere to hide from God’s loving gaze, from his will for my life. “Where shall I go from your spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence… If I say “Let only darkness cover me, and the light about me be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to you, the night is bright as the day; for darkness is as light with you.”-Psalm 139 7, 11-12
Light of the world or a lamp, on a lampstand; imagine the work of His hands, hiding in fear. That is not the life that Jesus came to give us abundantly. So when I fail, when I lie, I go back into myself and find my Father in my dark room, and in the silence he meets me there, and I confess. And I confess again on some Saturdays and I try again to live out his will for my life.
Lord, thank you for the gift of confession. May we always seek to be reconciled to you and to our brothers and sisters. Teach us to live without fear and to lovingly encourage one another to let the light in again. Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
“I want to walk as a child of the light.
I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give light to the world.
The star of my life is Jesus.
In him there is no darkness at all.
The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.“