I don’t know anyone who wants a public airing of his or her laundry. I’m not talking about simple gaffes or poor choices; I’m talking about decisions, actions, and attitudes that as you see them in the light of day you can wonder how you could be part of the scene. Does anyone really need to know? The question becomes especially difficult as one adds a specific, detailed, granular reference to the end. Do I really need to acknowledge every little bit of the story? Can’t we just ignore the past or at least sweep in under some carpet?
The appeal often finds a home in the people around you. It isn’t that everyone is naively compassionate; it is a shared sympathy for something that everyone shares! We all have something to hide. Everyone is embarrassed certain things in their life. The focus and discomfort transcends our standing in society, height on the corporate ladder, and even how much one earns or doesn’t earn and strikes at the heart of who and what we are. Nobody is immune. Tabloids survive because they constantly expose what others want to keep hidden. Society reporters make a living because they reveal what others often try to keep hidden.
History is littered with examples of those trying to hide what eventually became public. Even with the exception cases where people were successful, Howard Hughes comes to mind, there is a clear warning. God knows. Divinity has the details. Nothing is off limits and in the end everything will be reviewed in context. Joel captured one remark from God. “They threw dice for my people and used them for barter. They would trade a boy for a whore, sell a girl for a bottle of wine when they wanted a drink.” (Joel 3.3) The words are crisp, direct, and transparent. There is nothing that is hidden or candied.
There is a piece of good news that comes along with this. God is transparent in the offer of restoration, eternity, and rescue. It comes unconditionally with our yes. Transparency goes both ways.