It was Gary. “Hey Doc, I just got a call from Wendell. He says that you’re closer to his father than anyone else and he wants you to find out something … Is there anything in his dad’s stuff that should be destroyed?”
Dr Raymond Cox was my mentor, friend, and childhood pastor. His basement was a vast archive of books, sermons, research material, and original source material on the early days of the Pentecostal Movement and particular, controversial evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. His materials were so extensive, that Dr Cox was hand-picked to ghostwrite McPherson’s autobiography after she died. He might have sensitive information no eye should see!
Raymond was dying of cancer. This usual Tuesday visit would be more than our weekly discussion of politics and theology; we’d talk about secrets.
“Is there anything in your files that should be destroyed when you die? Are there any secrets the world shouldn’t know?”
He thought a few seconds. “The only thing that would shock people is that I’ve been a closet Calvinist all my life,” he said. “But after I’m gone, it won’t matter any longer.” We laughed.
We all live with secrets. Some things we hide because they feel embarrassing or harmful to our reputation, others are secret because the information doesn’t enhance anyone’s life (like what I ate for breakfast today). Even God has secrets. But He’s not hiding anything scandalous; there are just some things He knows that don’t affect our lives. However, He’s told us everything we need to know so that we can live for Him.
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29).