What do you fear?
When all the noise is gone, what nags at you? When the make-up is gone and the tie is hung in the closet, what voice do you hear? In the darkest of night, when you cannot sleep and thoughts swirl around the corners of your ceiling, what is it that calls your name?
Usually we are told to be overcomers, to shake our fist at the sky, and claim victory. It is very rare that we come face to face with our fears. But it’s the basest of all questions. In fact, it lies at the root of the very first question ever uttered to man.
After the first sin, God came in the garden, to go on his usual walk with Adam and Eve. They heard him coming and found covering for their shame, weaving together fig leaves to fool the one who made them.
Then came the question. “Where are you, Adam?”
And the answer. “We hid because we were afraid.”
They were afraid of being exposed – literally and metaphorically.
And that fear has never changed. We all still are afraid of being shown to be frauds, fakes. We fear that our true person will be known, so we go through all kinds of ridiculous side shows just to prove we’re somebody we’re not. I’ve spent a lifetime in the big show until it all came crumbling down.
We all have something to hide – a secret pill we ingest that we hope no one sees. We’re ashamed and yet we plod on. We will never escape the power and the grip of our secret selves until we open up to God first, and then to others.
Do you fear exposure? Do you fear your real self will be shown?
When we begin to hide who we are, we find company with the father of lies and we find it easier to duck and hide. We find it easy to change our perfectly Instagrammed selfies, with just the right hue and color.
Getting naked with our friends has nothing to do with clothes and everything about growth. If you fear exposure, the best thing you can do is start telling the truth – right now.
Find a small group of like-minded people. This may take some work. You may have to go outside the lines drawn by your church, your skin color, your social class, your age.
And then, within that small group, find one or two people that you can start to peel off the mask. Go slowly.
Do you have friends you can be honest with? Do you fear exposure?