Safe Place with Ruth Graham

How many people in recent years have been felled by a hidden sin in their life? It wasn’t bad enough to have their sin, mistake, crime found out but they compounded it by trying to cover it up. Presidents, Governors, Senators, pastors, sports figure, leaders of all sorts…TV personalities… Often the crime is not as bad as the cover-up – though the crime is pretty bad…the explanations, stories, lies, excuses are pathetic.  The latest is Dennis Hastert. But he is just one of so many. His crime was 30+ years ago. I can only imagine the fear of being “found out” he carried for all this years. And after all of that he was found out anyway. In actuality, at this point it is the cover-up, not the crime, that has put him at odds with the law. Certainly it wasn’t worth it.

I hesitate to jump in too early because we don’t know what the situation was but at this point, it looks bad. I do have questions as to the timing of the revelation. Why now? Who is behind this? Politics is a very dirty business. (I am very sad about it. He had seemed to have such a clean record. He served at a difficult time. He had a good reputation. A good legacy… so sad… I do pray for him and his family.) I believe him to be a Christian so I assume he has asked for and been given forgiveness by God and others.

Although we, and I include myself in that, try so hard to look like we have it all together and have a handle on life…we don’t. All of us are broken but we work so hard to keep up appearances. We wear our masks – some decorated quite elaborately and expensively but they are just masks, soon to expose us for what we are – pretenders. Why do we pretend? We are afraid. Afraid of what? People won’t like us or find us deficient.

I’m not sure how many of you watch the BBC/PBS show by that name, “Keeping up Appearances” on Saturday night. Set in England, the main character tries so hard to be what she isn’t (a member of the upper class) and hide the things she is (a pretentious ordinary housewife)! She gets into all sorts of predicaments – it’s quite comical. But it is so true of human nature! We want people to think well of us. Sadly, we pretend to be what/who we are not. Richer than we are, more educated than we are, more popular than we are, busier than we are…the list is endless. How many of us are really comfortable in our own skins, if we really think about it? It is sad. We envy and try to emulate those around us that seem to have more than we do in a variety of areas.

How many times have we driven by a shabby house only to see a brand-new Mercedes out front? I remember looking for a house in Florida years ago…often the downstairs was furnished but not the upstairs! The family couldn’t afford to furnish the whole house but didn’t want people to know! So sad.

To live authentically is freedom. To be who you are inside and out. (I’m not going to comment on Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner at this time.) It is easier to be authentic. It does take energy to cover shame. But shame is a lie. We don’t have to live there. We can be free. And it is so much easier to tell on ourselves rather than have someone rat us out! The Bible tells us to “confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16) So true. Find someone that is safe – someone who is authentic (Willing to confess their sins to you) and begin to confess even your darkest secrets. You will find it painful at first but so liberating!

You will no longer be afraid of being found out, of the other shoe dropping, nor will you have to keep up appearances!






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