“A secret's worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept.” Carlos Ruiz zafón
I know I’m showing my age, but my all-time favorite TV show is The Dick Van Dyke Show. (I bet you thought I was going to say Superman.) I’ve watched every episode (all 158 of them) at least 50 times each.
One of my favorite episodes is when the Alan Brady Show features a British rock group called the Redcoats (played by real rockers, Chad and Jeremy). Because teenage girls keep crashing whatever hotel they’re holed-up in, the duo hasn’t slept for a week. To ensure a good night’s rest before appearing on the show, it’s decided the boys will be transported to the Petrie’s house in the back of a laundry truck while decoy limousines are dispatched from the studio to various hotels around New York City. However, to make it work, Rob and Laura can’t tell a soul the famous pair is under their roof.
Shortly after the boys go to bed, Rob and Laura have the following exchange.
Laura: Rob, I want to tell you something and you’re probably going to say it’s childish and immature and female. But Rob, I’m just dying to tell somebody they’re here.
Rob: Uh-huh. That’s childish and immature. But it’s not female. I feel exactly the same. Like if I told Jerry … anybody!
Laura: Oh Rob, I’d just like to tell everybody.
Rob: That’s female.
Laura: Well, it’s like having a Dior original and then not being able to wear it.
Rob: No it isn’t. It’s like being Clark Kent.
Rob: You know you’re Superman and you can’t tell anybody.
Laura: Oh yeah. It’s so frustrating.
Rob: I never realized how he must have felt. Can you imagine how many times in that phone booth he wanted to grab the phone and say, “Hi, I’m Superman!”
Several years ago, I began designing materials for the SBC International Mission Board’s Gutenberg II (GII) Project. Due to the sensitive nature of the materials, I can’t post them on my website. I’ve designed dozens of brochures, newsletters and fundraising materials, but all must be sent to and seen by a select audience. What makes it especially hard for me is the fact that the materials are some of the best things I’ve ever designed.
GII is a film series featuring Old Testament stories that speak to the culture and in the languages of a specific religious group; one prone to violent opposition to challenges of its worldview. Hence, the need for a measure of secrecy.
The materials have helped raise millions of dollars to translate the films into dozens of languages and produce a feature-length motion picture about Jesus Christ that recently premiered in a country halfway around the world to standing-room crowds.
I’m dying to show you (or anybody) the work but for now I’ll just have to keep my shirt on.
UPDATE: In December 2020, I took off my shirt.