“I’ve hardly told anyone this, and I’m not sure why I’m telling you now. But, this is what happened ....”, and then the story comes out.

A story of failure, disappointment, hurt or shame – something that has been largely kept hidden.

People do this often – they tell me the stories that only a close few others know.

They tell the things that a lot of the time they would rather keep hidden.

Why do we hide them?

Because we think that it’s just us – that we are the only person that we know who has gone through what we have done.

We think everyone around us is doing quite well, and no one could have done what we’ve done.

It’s a big lie. It’s not true.

Every time someone tells their secret stories – they think it’s just them – but it really isn’t.

I often laugh, and let them know that there are loads of people just around the corner who have been through just the same kind of thing.

We can become so convinced that our story is unique to us, and everyone else around has got it all sorted.

But they don’t, everyone has ‘stuff’ happening in their lives – things we are struggling with and things we are ashamed of.

None of us is sorted.

A group of religious men found a woman cheating on her husband, and they dragged her to Jesus asking him to pronounce judgment over her.

Jesus turned to the men and simply said “Let the one who has no sin throw the first stone at her.”

On by one the men walked away – each one knowing that while they may not be cheating on their wife, they had plenty of other stuff going on in their lives that meant they were in no place to judge.

Jesus turns to the woman and said “I do not condemn you, go and start to live in a better way.”

This means for you and me, that we can be confident that nothing in our lives is a surprise to God, and it probably won’t be a surprise to our friends.

It also means that we can be sure that if we ask, God will forgive and start to heal even the most hurtful things – however secret.