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I’ve been reading Lauren
Winner’s new memoir “Still,” and she has a lot to say about something I would call “hiding in plain sight.”. What I mean by this is that while some of us hide by in fact hiding, others of us hide by being very public about our struggles and our analysis of them; this gives us control over how people perceive our troubles, and also projects the illusion that we are managing to deal with them without the help of others. I suppose I notice this in particular because I recently had the interesting experience of being depressed while writing an article on one’s personal response to depression. I like how it came out, and I’m sure people will read it and think how wonderfully insightful it is, and it is just enough to convince people that surely someone with such deep and wonderful insight does not need further help from them. And this is exactly what I want, you see, because frankly I don’t like to need other people – I don’t want to be vulnerable, so I am very public about my own vulnerability. But I think we need to need (God and others) before we can experience grace, and so hedging ourselves into this space of transparent bullet-proof glass, see-through but unreachable, is something we need to pray about – we need God to rescue us. I suppose that would be my advice to those who recognize this in themselves, but I would also encourage fellow Christians to be on the watch to help those who hide in plain sight – I imagine in many cases they are those you depend on most for spiritual strength.