we live in a world where secrecy always is portrayed as sinster, but yet Jesus seems to think there is a lot to be said for it.
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you”.
But we live in a world where most of our lives -including our dinners- get plastered all over social media, and nothing is secret, nothing is discreet, and nothing is done anonymously.
I love the idea of living for the audience of one (God himself) but our human nature wants to be thanked and appreciated. I love the idea that sometimes people are blessed and no-one knows who the person is that is blessing them, seems to me to be a natural extension of “the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing”.
As I began to think more about this “secret history” of people in the quiet place receiving and encountering God and made me wonder whether the loudest and most flamboyant in our congregation that maybe waves their arms most in the worship time, or the one who dominates Bible studies with an answer for everything may not necessarily be the spiritual giants we might think they are, and the unassuming person in the corner is actually our greatest warrior leading the battle secretly from the hidden place of their prayer closet.
I watched a film once called “Shallow Hal” where a misogynist only saw peoples inward beauty not their external appearances, and his view of the world was transformed. I wonder if we could see one another’s own spiritual lives, the behind closed doors lives, whether we might be surprised, both at those we might have written off actually being great players in the advancement of God’s Kingdom winning those crucial battles on their knees? And perhaps the reverse is true, that people that “talk the talk” aren’t “praying the prayers”.
A discipline of secrecy, living for the audience of one, building that deep relationship with God when no one sees and know one knows just you and God.
If we are to see this nation changed, then probably it wont be through loud events with smoke machines, but rather through ordinary men and women -like you and me- prioritising the unobserved, discreet time spent just with God that no one else knows about.