I referred someone to PostSecret.com because of one of the topics covered, and she asked me if I’d ever sent them a secret. When I said no, she asked why I read it.
Good question. If you’ve never been there, PostSecret is a website which features postcards bearing people’s secrets, many of them artistically rendered, many of them heartbreaking, and all posted anonymously. The webmaster has given a physical address where you can send the postcard with your secret written on it, and on Sundays he posts a batch of them. There’s also a book.
(It’s also not generally child-safe if your children can read, and I’d recommend against checking it out if you’re at work.)
I’ve only poked around there for about a month or so, but I find it strangely addictive.
When this other person asked me why I go there, what I came up with was this: these are people at their most human, sharing the things they think are the most shameful, the thing that would make you want to leave them if you knew. The thing that for whatever reason, they’ve never been able to entrust to anyone.
Since most of them aren’t illegal, it’s people fearing rejection.
And in looking at all those secrets, those things so horrible that no one would ever love them if we saw them in daylight… I see they’re not so bad. They’re human.
Yes, they may be sinful, flawed, distorted or otherwise wrong. But many of them are parts of the human heart that don’t get to see the light of day, and they don’t stop the people from being lovable and forgivable. In fact, sometimes I’m shocked because the secrets aren’t shocking.
They’re just people. But they needed to let out the pain a bit. And they do it creatively.
Maybe that’s what the Gospels mean, when Jesus says that nothing done in the dark won’t be revealed in the light, and that nothing said in secret won’t be shouted from the housetops. Maybe all things hidden would be revealed and we’d see that the most horrible thing we’ve buried at the core of us isn’t as big or unique as we thought it was. And whatever it is, if it’s sinful, it’s forgivable. We are lovable.
Maybe God sees into our hearts like millions of these Post Secrets and loves us despite them all and because of them all, for humans at their most human, and beauty arising from brokenness.