There are all kinds of cover up’s.
The kind that you wear, the kind that you smear on paper to cover a mistake and the kind that you project in order to avoid the consequence of truth. I am familiar with all three.
It’s the third that has me thinking. We all have the capacity to “hide” so others can’t know what is really going on. We also are able to “hide” from ourselves; filling our hands and minds with things to keep the cover up on.
Last week a story broke in my little corner of the world. A 50 year old man was arrested for the deaths of his sister and brother in law…25 years ago! He had buried this terrible atrocity for 25 years and now his cover up was ripped off. I wonder what the last 25 years have been like for him, for his relationships? I wonder if he convinced himself that it never really happened, that no one would ever find out? Did he experience painful physical symptoms because of this secret through the years? Was his health deteriorating? I can tell you by the picture that was taken he looked a lot older than 50. I wonder if he now feels a sense of relief because it is all out in the open? Suppressing things takes a lot of energy.
“Cover up’s” erode us, robbing us of health, freedom and love.
Although I can’t relate to what this man did, I can relate to “covering up”. We all have a self protective side that whispers don’t let that out, don’t let them know how lonely you are, don’t let them see that side of you, you’re fine. That self-protective voice is shrewd. Many times I’m not even aware of what I’m trying to cover up. I’m diverted with thoughts like: I am so tired of all this monotony, I deserve better, I just am not getting what I need out of this (fill in the blank), I’d just be happier if I didn’t have to leave this house, or this bed, one more time won’t hurt anything, I really “need” these (fill in the blank), I’ll deal with the fall out next month. I could keep going…maybe you hear your self-protective voice here too?
I’m not making an argument that we shouldn’t be maintaining healthy and live giving practices for our relationships and ourselves. No, this isn’t what I’m suggesting. I’m probing deeper….I’m poking around in the attic of deep, consistent frustration, discontent or depression, anger or bitterness. These things are often a result of very difficult things that have happened in our lives.
We’ve survived in a physical sense but we are not surviving.
Our hearts are heavy, our relationships are struggling, we push away the very things and people that are good for us. Entering into behavior or attitudes that widdle away our esteem, confidence or peace; worse yet destroy our bodies, jobs, relationships or families. We knowingly or unknowingly turn from God; unable to look toward Him we think He is unrelate-able. Sometimes the cover up is so good we aren’t even aware we are wearing it. We move at a pace that keeps everyone at a distance, fooling ourselves into believing that “we are too busy” and we leave a trail of relational, financial, physical or circumstantial chaos behind.
Life hits hard. For some it is devastating. It affects our minds, bodies and souls. It rips our seams and sears our souls. Our first nature is to cover up the affects of life. Afraid that our honesty would discredit God’s faithfulness, as if His faithfulness were dependent upon our feelings.
Ok so this is a little deeper than I normally go…sorry…
But today I’m thinking about “cover-ups” in my own life. Why are they there in the first place? What do I forfeit by maintaining them? Does it hinder me knowing God more deeply, these “cover-ups”?
Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. For what good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luke 9:24,25 NIV)
Something’s are worth more than all the treasures of this world. Being our true selves, imperfect and perhaps battered, but real and unencumbered. Having energy for life. Not wasting ourselves on protecting our image or position and secretly dying a slow death.
What really does God have in mind with His “new life”? My thoughts are running today, have you considered “cover up’s” in your life?
God’s freedom words ring in my ears:
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. (Psalm 51:6 NIV)