At one moment in the movie The Invisible Woman, about Charles Dickens and Nellie Ternan, Mr Dickens turns to Nellie and declares, ‘It’s a wonderful fact to reflect upon that every human creature is a profound secret and mystery to every other.’ Nellie’s response to Charles is this, ‘Until that secret is given to another to look after.’
The news these days is full of ‘secret revelations’, and ‘kiss and tell’ autobiographies are always popular in the bookshops. But often these have negative connotations. What about the positive side of the real us, the unique side very few see? It’s hard to be honest at times because we fear rejection and humiliation. So we look at everyone else and do our best to blend in.
Advertising puts pressure on us to be like others, smell like them, look like them, act like them. God does not. In Psalm 139 the writer records that we are each wonderful and complex, designed by the creator. If we were designed to be a fish, we can waste our whole lives trying to ride a bike or climb a tree. The Old Testament prophets stuck out like sore thumbs, and one, Jeremiah, was assured, ‘Before I formed you I knew you, I chose you for something unique.’ (Jeremiah 1 vv 4-5)