"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

To Conceal or Reveal?

By Micky Wolf

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another.

As we unpack our groceries we make a discovery. Unwrapping the fruits and vegetables, we notice a couple have spots that weren’t obvious when we made our selection of the plastic-covered trays. Separating a bundle of chops into portion size meals, we realize the bottom two, hidden beneath several layers, are more bone and fat than meat.

Did a distracted worker miss the spots that indicated the spoiling process had begun? Maybe. Did another employee intentionally bury the lower quality pork so it would be sold along with the good? Maybe.

Either way, it becomes obvious we didn’t quite get what we thought we paid for.

Concealing or revealing lesser quality produce or a few cuts of meat is one thing. Quite another when it comes to you and me—and our flaws and imperfections.

For the Christian, you’d be hard pressed to find a stronger admonition for what happens in day-to-day living, or as we pass from this life to the eternal.

Yet it is important we keep our eyes and hearts focused on several key words in this statement:  “…naked and exposed to the eyes of him…”

What does this mean for you and me?

While Scripture does make several points of exhorting us to help others avoid sin and sinning, it is also clear that the work of deciding who has what kind of sin in their lives—concealed or not—is a matter of Divine revelation and intervention. Not yours. Not mine.

None of us is crazy about others seeing our ugly stuff. So shame-filled can we be about the poor choices we’ve made—the spots and blemishes we’ve taken on ourselves or inflicted on others by our actions—we shudder at the idea of ‘being discovered’. For many people, the only consolation is in sharing the rotten part of ourselves with a trusted spiritual guide or in the private space of our prayer closet.

And that, in the end, is a good thing.

Not that we are sinning. Not that we sin and try to conceal it.

But that we make the choice, the moment we sense in our hearts that God is calling us to render an account, to take responsibility for the whole of who we are—our goodness, our sinfulness, our flaws, and our imperfections. That applies to the here and now of our life as well as the hereafter that is to come.

God doesn’t get distracted. God does not bury the bad stuff. Rather, God loves us beyond anything we could ever dream or imagine. Unlike the tomatoes with spots or the chops with fat, he chooses to work with what we might consider unsightly or unappealing to bring about healing and restoration in the whole of our being.

God uses it all. Nothing is wasted in his economy.

For that, we can be eternally grateful and thankful.

Do I feel a need to conceal my sin, my flaws and imperfections?

A need to expose or reveal others’ ugly stuff?

How do I feel about God using it all to work his healing and restoration?

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