Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager whose famous diary was published after the Second World War, has made headlines as new imaging techniques revealed what was beneath two previously covered pages – 'dirty jokes' and thoughts about sex.
For anyone who has kept a personal diary, the thought of it selling 25 million copies worldwide and being translated into 70 languages would be a living nightmare. However, Anne had begun to adapt her diary for publication for after the war ended. Her father Otto compiled her original and adapted diary into a book entitled The Secret Annex. The Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam justified publishing the recently deciphered pages as being of 'significant academic interest' – Anne's diary is a UNESCO-registered World Heritage document.
I remember when I visited the museum in 2007 as a teenager and ventured up the steep, narrow stairs behind the bookcase to the Secret Annex where Anne hid from the Nazis for over two years. Her room was covered in posters she had pasted to the walls. It reminded me of the posters I had blu-tacked to my own walls. The longer I spent in the confined space of the attic, the more I felt connected to this young girl as I tried to imagine what life would have been like in her world.
Although Anne was an ordinary teenage girl, her words were shaped by the challenges of living in hiding. She was caught up in something much bigger and more tragic than the thoughts found in her diary.
The planned extermination of the Jewish race was one of the greatest crimes and coverups of all time. Towards the end of the war they tried to conceal any documentation that could reveal the truth about their crimes. Eventually, the full extent of the crimes against the Jewish people in the war was discovered.
Now, 73 years later, researchers have finally revealed the words that Anne had kept hidden.
Jesus said that 'there is nothing covered that won't be uncovered and nothing hidden that won't be made known' (Matthew 10:26). We all conceal parts of our lives that we hope no one will discover. From the very beginning when humans first sinned and tried to hide from God in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8), people have kept things hidden – from telling a white lie, not owning up to eating the last cookie or having affairs. Whether what is hidden seems small or big, when it comes to telling the truth, it's God's truth that we need.
Nothing is truly hidden from God's sight: 'everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of him to whom we must give account' (Hebrews 4:13). When we try to hide from God we're like small children playing hide and seek: their parents always know where they are.
In our effort to keep things hidden from God and others, it's Jesus who uncovers the truth about who we are. As Jesus is the 'light of the world' (John 8:12), he shines his light into the hidden places of our lives and offers forgiveness through the cross.
One day, everything will be revealed including the things in this life we don't understand and judgment will be executed by God himself. Through Jesus our sins have been completely forgiven and we can live in the light of this truth – if we come out of hiding and accept the invitation.