Mike Ellis, who I am so grateful to for opening up areas of the Internet which I never knew existed, posted a very sad picture earlier today. The picture is taken from the site PostSecret.com, I’d recommend that you go there but the site contains material which is, in Mike’s words ‘extrememly edgy’! So visit at your own risk.
PostSecret is a phenomenon which is sweeping across college campuses around the country and is reaching many other places on its way.
Started in 2005 by Frank Warren, PostSecret simply asks people to decorate a postcard and write on it one secret that they have never shared out loud then mail it anonymously to Mr Warren’s home.
Warren reports that he has now received over 200,000 such postcards and displays the pick of them on his website and in the four PostSecret books that he has published.
Many more than that have been written though because it has become common for people to write their secrets and place them within the pages of one of the PostSecrets books at a bookstore. The purchaser of the book then receives a ‘bonus’ of a secret which they are the only person in the world to have ever seen.
People also post their phone numbers on the PostSecret Myspace blog so anyone who wants to text a secret instead of writing it on a postcard can text it to a random recipient of their choosing. You can see a (clean) promotional video here.
PostSecret’s Wikipedia entry states: According to Youth Trends’ February 2008 “Top Ten List Report” PostSecret was the 10th most popular site amongst female students in the USA, with 7% of those polled naming the site as their favorite.
So why am I mentioning all of this?
Well… it’s because of the postcard that Mike Ellis used on his site:
The postcard you see here is one of the latter of those. A 16 year old scared because he or she might soon be living on the streets.
Not only that but they have no-one to talk to about it. This is a secret which they have never shared. Not with their father, their friends, their teachers, other family. No-one.
I don’t know which makes me cry the most, the fear they have or the loneliness.
Whichever one it is, my heart is breaking for that person. They’re in a car heading for a collision and they have no voice with which to scream, no-one to save them, no comfort, no peace.
200,000 postcards have been received. That’s 200,000 secrets that are being bottled up. 200,000 possibly hurting, aching, longing, needing to to talk but not being able to – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
What’s your secret? What’s your secret that you want to tell someone but just can’t. What’s the secret of the guy behind the counter at your local Starbucks? What’s the secret of the girl you pass in the corridor at work every day and have never even spoken to? What’s your child’s secret? Your neighbors? Your Pastor’s? The couple you never speak to at church because you just don’t know how to start the conversation?
I want at this point to become the perfect teacher and get all religious on you bringing out the perfect scripture that talks about secrets being brought into the light or the truth setting you free or something like that but I just can’t.
You see, I just want to find that person who’s scared, who’s lonely, who’s hurting and I want to love on them. I just want them to know that they are not alone.
I believe that the bible is very important. I believe that everyone needs salvation, I really do, but I also believe that the church needs to stop sitting here spouting off appropriate passages to people from a distance and get out there and love them the way Jesus did.
Do you have a secret that you’re wanting to share? Just sharing your secret can go a long way. A problem shared really is a problem halved. If so, feel free to post a comment anonymously below and tell us what it is. Just put anonymous as the name and firstname.lastname@example.org as the email address and no-one will ever know it was you.