In support of her latest novel, Daisy Chain, Christian author Mary DeMuth launched Family Secrets, a website where users can anonymously confess their secrets to an online audience. DeMuth writes, "In Daisy Chain, many characters harbor secrets, but only a few are brave enough to bring them to the light of day and find freedom and hope. That's why I created this site—to give you a safe place to air a secret anonymously."
DeMuth's project picks up on a confessional trend made famous by PostSecret, a blog that posts submissions from its ongoing community mail art project, in which people mail their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. The blog, which boasts of attracting 284,343,252 visitors (and counting), has been turned into museum exhibits as well as five books, the most recent of which tackled the topic Confessions on Life, Death, and God. The idea is to rob the secrets of their powerful grip as writers identify, process, and share with others those things they are afraid to admit to themselves.
There's a simple reason these blogs are so popular: We experience a rush as we recognize the pain and courage each entry represents, heightened when we find ourselves connecting with the confessions. "I thought I was the only one," we marvel as we see our own hearts in the words of a stranger.
Confessing to others is good for our spirits and psyches. Often we evangelicals make light of it, thinking of it as "a Catholic thing" and insisting that God is the only one we need to confess to. But by doing this, we ignore not only the rich tradition of confession in church settings, but also the biblical command: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer ...1
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