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A Bit About Little
Little was sitting on his lap again. “Why don’t I just say no? Why do I sit on his lap when he says to? This is all my fault.” They were on the back patio, sitting on an old, faded blue metal patio chair. Grandma was inside cooking or sewing or cleaning. Little didn’t know which, but she wished Grandma would come outside. Grandpa had one hand on her breast and one hand on her pants, as if these were just normal places to rest his hands. He was talking about something, but Little wasn’t listening. She was distracted by her discomfort…her fear…her self-berating.
Suddenly there was a sound from the back door. Grandma was coming! Little jumped up and sprinted to the door to greet her!
“Hi Grandma!” Little was almost breathless from her excitement.
“Hi Little,” Grandma answered. “I just wanted you to know that we’ll have dinner in about a half hour.”
“Okay Grandma, “ Little said through the screen door. “Are you coming outside?”
“No sweetie. I have to cook dinner now.”
“Okay.” Little felt defeated…her excitement faded.
She walked back to Grandpa. She didn’t know why she went back to him, but somehow she just knew that he would expect her to…and that she had to.
“Come sit back down, Little.” Grandpa said. So she did. His hands went back into position, and he whispered in her ear, “Don’t jump up like that when Grandma comes, or she’ll figure out our secret.”
‘Our little secret,’ Little thought to herself, ‘this is all my fault.’
A Bit of Inspiration
Shame. It’s the fungus that grows in the darkness of our secrets.
It’s one of the things that makes me really angry with Adam and Eve (another is the whole “pain in childbirth” thing…could’ve done without that, thank you Eve). Before the whole fruit incident, Adam and Eve didn’t feel any shame. They experienced total freedom…nakedness.
“Adam and his wife were naked and felt no shame.” Gen. 2:25
Naked. The thought of it makes middle-schoolers giggle and newlyweds smile. And although Adam and Eve were physically naked, there was much more to this word than simply not wearing any clothes. No, this was more…something much deeper and more intimate than physical nakedness. This was true freedom. Complete vulnerability…complete openness…complete knowing…complete sharing…with no shame…no guilt…no hiding…no secrets. This characterized their relationship with each other and with the Lord.
Then came the aforementioned fruit incident. And now they hid. First they hid their bodies, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Gen 3:7, NIV) The first secret…born out of shame. Then, to top it off, they tried to hide from God. Okay, seriously, they hid behind a bush in the garden that God had created…did they really think He wouldn’t find them? Probably not. But their shame drove them into hiding.
There is an interesting dichotomy that exists between shame and secrets. We keep a secret because we are ashamed of something, and our shame grows in the darkness of our secret. As long as we bury that secret…deep into the soil of our soul…the shame grows.
But there is a way to break this cycle, and although it is not easy, it is necessary. The only way to get rid of the shame is to cut it off at its source…the secret. Whether our secret is born of our own sin or of someone else’s sin (as it was for Little) we must bring that secret into the light…we must tell the truth.
Little does eventually tell the truth…but that is still much further along in our story. I hope you’ll keep coming back to hear more about her journey. But for now, I’ll leave you with this….
Are you holding a secret, born out of shame, that is now breeding more and more shame in your soul? Is it heavy? If so, please…I beg of you…consider telling the truth…consider shining light on those hidden places.
If you have no one you can tell, then tell me. Leave it here as an anonymous post, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t solve your problem…but I can listen, and I can pray for you.