Proverbs 27:5 - "Better is open rebuke than hidden love."
Some days I wonder how much people are holding in, holding back. I wonder what they would look like if they could just let their hair down. What would they look like if they weren’t covering themselves with that dang Edenic fig leaf? That covering that spoke of secrecy, withdrawal, and suppression.
What would people say that they don’t for fear of sounding juvenile? What would people do if they knew they wouldn’t fail? What would people let out--blurt out—if they weren’t guaranteed immunity from the label—stupid?
I see how people live. I watch the goings on of humanity. I see the pent up passion that is looking for a runway to land on. People are cagey because they are caged up inside, shackled to insecurity and inferiority. They have so much to offer, but they are scared to do so, scarred from offerings in the past that have been turned down and turned against them. And so they hide. We hide.
The Bible says the fear of man is a snare. It also states that the shameful run when no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. And I wonder…how often do I come across someone who isn’t hiding to some extent? Have I ever truly met a man who does have fig leaves hiding his naked thoughts and feelings? What would such a soul evoke if I happened upon it? Would I be able to look it in the eye or would I affect to laugh and crack jokes to buffer the awkwardness of full exposure? What would I look like if I stopped hiding my true self…if I stood naked before a clothed world? If I let out a yelp occasionally that reminded everyone of Eden? If I chirped a freedom song? If I grunted out a pang, an ache, an angst of bare-naked longing? What would happen?
I know what would happen…I would rush to the thicket and seek cover once again. I would redouble my efforts to look for fig leaves that weren’t as see-through, sowing them together for additional layers of protection. I would make sure I wasn’t embarrassed ever again. T.M.I. (Too Much Information) And what gets hidden isn’t just me, it’s love. Because love is life and life is love. When someone isn’t experiencing or offering love, they aren’t living, they aren’t human. And yet, so many hide their love for fear of how it will be received.
What would they say if I told them I really wanted to be their best friend? What would she say if I told her my deepest fantasies about her? What would people think if I worshipped on the outside they way I am on the inside? How would I offend people if I took this abstract feeling and incarnated it…made it happen? What if I hugged that person? What if I shared with him how much I look up to him? How would she react if just kissed her in public when I feel like it? What if I struck up a conversation and asked that one question I’ve been dying to know? What if I told the group what I was really thinking? What would be the fall out of unleashed love? Would others lose respect, would I lose my reputation, would I lose control, would I be humiliated? Would he leave me? Would she give me that look? What would happen? What’s the worst thing that could happen?
And we deliberate carrying on this conversation within ourselves, back and forth, talking ourselves out of things…talking ourselves off the edge…talking ourselves into falling out of love. And it lays hidden yet another day. Covered under composure, a place it was never meant to be. A place that is as foreign as “smelling the color nine”. It will never make sense…and love will keep whispering that to you until you let it out, let it go.
So I dare you…let love win today and do what it says. Don’t hide it another day…you might meet yourself for the first time…because you haven’t really experienced life until you’ve experienced love.