Matthew 6: 17-18 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
This is the third of three short teachings from Matthew 6 that all include the statement that God sees what is done in secret. Most kids have a secret place they go to play, even if it is not so secret like simply under the covers. When I was growing up we had woods near our home and we regularly developed “forts,” just a more masculine term (so we thought) for a secret place. Like being under the covers, these forts felt secret but were pretty easy to find by anyone who really wanted to find them. The great part about having a secret place is eventually sharing it with someone else. This is how we learn about intimacy. We create secret places in our world, in our hearts, in our lives, so that we can share them with those we deem special and trustworthy. I think Jesus is reminding us that God lives at that level of intimacy with us and shares those things done in secret, those things we keep to share with only those we know won’t laugh at us, or accuse us, or devalue our inner worlds. God wants us to open those places to him and to others. Maybe learning that God shares our secrets and gives us the potential to be part of a community that honors each other at the deepest levels is part of the “reward” mentioned here. This week, how can you share your secret places with the God ”who sees what is done in secret?” How can you become a person who honors the secret places of others?