When I was a kid, we didn't have the internet. I couldn't Google anything. And I didn't know anyone named Alexa. What I did have was the whole set of encyclopedias, from A - Z. That was how my homework was done. And quite often how I spent an afternoon at grandma's house. My favorite encyclopedia was the "H" volume. In the middle of the book was the section on the human body. Several pages of transparency sheets layered together to form all the systems of the body. You could peel back each page and explore the separate systems on their own. It was fascinating. The secret workings of our body made transparent for all to see & know.
Transparency has not always been easy for me.
Last summer, I was floating on the lake with my sisters. In the quiet breeze, we shared struggles of the heart. One of my sisters looked at me, "Kel, I had no idea. Why didn't you tell us."
I don't know why. Maybe I have felt like I need to be the strong one. Or perhaps it's this weird desire to have things in order and seem like everything is okay. Sometimes I have felt the need to protect my loved ones. A lot of times it is because I am trying to let God do the work. But with all of my reasons filed nicely against my heart in protection, I lack transparency.
So why does it matter if we're vulnerable, willing to peel back the layers with others watching?
I just had another birthday and it's funny how getting older makes you look back and ponder the past. I can with praise on my lips recount all the things that God has done throughout my life; the things He has saved me from, the bondage He has released me from, and the growth that He has revealed in me.
When I look at all He has done, I wonder how He could use it to encourage someone else? That's why transparency matters:
God deserves the glory and others need their hands lifted up when they are weary.
But Moses' hands become heavy;
So they took a stone and put it under him,
And he sat on it.
And Aaron & Hur supported his hands, one on one side,
And the other on the other side;
And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
The Israelites won the battle that day. They were victorious. What if our shared stories made us like Aaron & Hur? What if battles were won because we swallowed our embarrassment, and put aside our comfort for the needs of others?
If you were to pull out an encyclopedia of my life and peel back each transparent page, one layer would tell of depression and suicide, another of sexual immorality, the next of greed & gluttony, parenting mistakes, self-hatred, the list goes on. But you would never know what was on the inside unless you looked through. I don't think I would stand on a platform and air out all my laundry, but if you came to me with your battle, I would do my best to share my story & put your hand in the hand of God. And you can do the same for others. You can be an encouragement & a testimony. Let's link arms & hold one another up. Let's share with transparency. Lets's wage war together. And then let us walk in victory, proclaiming God's glory.