Has someone ever told you something, then sworn you to secrecy? Have you ever agreed to keep that secret, then told someone (or 5 or 25 someones)? I did. Once.
I’ll never forget this as long as I live. It was 7th grade, circa 1983. I’d grown up, in church, with a girl named Lori. Lori was a fiery redhead, and rather tough, to say the least. These days, because we live in a world where kids aren’t allowed to defend themselves, for fear of getting in trouble, and because we’re raising a bunch of soft people who crumble if they’re called a name. A world where boys aren’t allowed to be boys, and wrestle and fight or play with guns, because that’s violent; but it’s ok if they want to be a princess. A world where girls are told that it’s much better to have a career than children, and if you do have kids, you should work and let others raise them. A world that tells girls that no man should be able to “tell them what to do”, and that they are, pretty much, the same as men. Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry, I went off on a tangent. All I was going to say is that, these days, she might be considered a “bully”. Which, just for the record, I’m SICK of hearing that word! Anyway, Lori was bigger and stronger than I was, not to mention, I was afraid of my own shadow. However, I loved to make people laugh, so I told everyone Lori’s big secret. I told everyone that Lori’s middle name was Eugenia!
Let me tell you, when the news had gotten back around to Lori, that everyone knew her middle name, she was livid! And she wanted to kick my butt! I was terrified, to say the least! Had I been one who liked missing school I would’ve faked some dreaded illness, but I didn’t want to miss school! I might miss something good like talking to a cute guy, or knowing who’d broken up with whom; so…. I spent the next few months hiding and running from Lori.
At night I dreamed of looking behind me and seeing her chasing me. It was like in the movies, I was running with all my might, and she was walking; yet she seemed to be catching up with me. Her flaming, red hair bouncing in the wind. Her blue, sparkly eyeshadow looking like the blue part of the flame. The fire that aimed to consume me! Her rather large fist wadded up tightly, striking my face, rendering me unconscious. Oh the nightmares!
Finally one day, I guess Lori grew tired of chasing me, and we became friends again. I sure was glad! It’s hard to try and be the center of attention when you’re in hiding!
I learned a valuable lesson that year. I learned that the ability to keep a secret was one I’d value, and certainly work on! I learned that, no matter how many people you could make laugh, nothing was worth risking your life. I also learned that friendships are important, and that when a friend values you enough to share a secret with you, you should value them enough to keep it to yourself! Especially if they can kick your butt! 🙂
Those who talk about others tell secrets. But those who can be trusted keep things to themselves. Proverbs 11:13