Monday, January 30, 2012


I've been talking with a friend lately about his habit of hiding. Not answering the uncomfortable questions, avoiding work by reading things online, using chocolate as a quick-fix: hiding, hiding from the truth.

I confronted this friend about his hiding. I berated and exhorted him, I explained why it's harmful, what kind of priorities it reveals (self-worship, at the bottom: refusal to face the truth about one's self). It was a long conversation, and my friend went away chastised. I took for granted that I had the higher moral ground. Then the next day, I noticed myself hiding, exactly the way my friend does. There was an uncomfortable truth or several lurking under the surface of my consciousness, and I knew I ought to dig it up and give it up to the Lord of my soul, "who forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases" (Ps. 103:2). But I didn't want to.

I've been confronting this friend about a number of his bad psychospiritual habits, and I keep noticing the same tendencies in myself shortly after those conversations.

Honestly, it is so stinking hard not to hide. There are a million ways to do it. I hide my fear by being angry, or I hide my anger by being afraid. I hide my disagreement by asking questions instead of speaking out, or by not speaking at all. I hide from despair by doing "fun" things--watching T.V., reading books. I hide from all my feelings by doing "productive" things--assembling furniture, working on my resume, researching nutrition. I hide from O. by not answering his emails and text messages. I hide from feelings of disconnection by hugging him and ignoring my anger or sadness. I hide from the demands of my body (food! water! exercise!) by engaging my mind or my emotions; I hide from the demands of my emotions by feeding and indulging my body.

The trouble is, hiding from truth is hiding from God. This is folly. In the Garden, Adam and Eve, ashamed, refused to come when God called them. They deluded themselves into thinking He couldn't see them. I tell myself this is totally different from what I'm doing, but that too is a delusion. I keep avoiding truths, and the Truth. But what I really need, underneath it all and above it all and beyond it all, is the Truth: Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life.

"Surely You desire truth in the innermost parts." O my Lord, cleanse me. I pray in faith with the Psalmist: "Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow." (Psalm 51:6, 7) O God, help.

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