The public and the private

April and May seem like a blur. We’ve been busy around here and that explains, in part, why I haven’t been posting. However, I must admit that even when I could’ve taken the time, I haven’t felt the inclination to write. Instead I’ve been reading and journaling a lot. It seems I do this periodically; I abandon the blogging world and keep my thoughts to the private pages of my journal.

I came across something while reading the writings of Mother Teresa that gave some measure of meaning to my periodic absence from the blogging world.  While talking with a fellow sister about the “inspiration” behind the initial call to serve the poor of Calcutta, Mother Teresa said this: …it is very difficult to explain…When you make it public it loses its sanctity.

That last sentence says so much. There is line to be drawn between being “transparent” in an effort to share your thoughts or parts of your life to minister, teach or connect with another and holding close to the vest those things which God has spoken to your heart for the sake of your piety journey and relationship with him. When guided by the Holy Spirit, the former can be a powerful lever in the life of another. But like Mother Teresa says, the latter, when made public, seems to lose its sanctity.

That quote seems fitting coming from her. Despite all the publicity she received she was a very private person.  She often requested of those with whom she regularly corresponded to get rid of her letters. She was a humble woman who probably never imagined her simple letters and words would be used by God to inspire others after her death.

Now, to be sure, nothing in my life even remotely resembles the inspiration or call that Mother Teresa received but I can identify with her words. Writing can be therapeutic for me but not everything ought to be written about. There are seasons for sharing one’s story or what God is teaching you. But, not every story or lesson is meant to be shared. We live in a world that let’s it all hang out, where the line between what is public and private is easily blurred. But the line does exist. And that line should protect the sanctity of what we privately hold sacred.


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