Everyone has a secret of one sort or another. Every family and every community and every country has its secrets too. For some it is an addictive behavior. For others it is an abusive or traumatic experience that may only intensify feelings of shame. For still others it is the fear of being rejected, the lust for power, an uncontrollable temper, emotional infidelity, a vicious prejudice, a program of terror, an insatiable jealousy of others, repeated acts of self-indulgence, or something else.
Whatever they may be, with our secrets we hide. We hide from others and we hide from our self. Ultimately, we hide from God. In our hiding, we choose darkness over light; we embrace death instead of life; we elect to be lonely rather than to be relationally at home with others. And the certain result of all our hiding is that we become cut off from our Source of life, strangers to ourselves, and alienated from creation, which, in the end, is pathetic, disfiguring, and an utterly tragic loss of life.
To be open and unafraid with God is to counter the devastating effects of our primordial sin. When Adam and Eve sinned, their first impulse was to hide. In making clothes for themselves, they hid their bodies. When they heard the sound of their Maker’s voice, they hid from God. In their telltale lies, they hid from the truth, and in their mutual accusations, they hid from each other. All the ways in which Adam and Eve hid resulted in one thing: their dehumanization. . . .
What the psalms offer us is help to un-hide: to stand honestly before God without fear, to face one another vulnerably without shame, and to encounter life in the world without any of the secrets that would demean and distort our humanity.
The psalms invite us therefore to stand in the light, to see ourselves truly and to receive the reformative work of God through the formative words of the psalmist, so that we might be rehumanized in Christ.