She Died with Her Secrets

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Friday, November 5, 2010 at 3:02 PM


On September 4, 1942 Eileen Nearne signed a secrecy agreement. In September of 2010 those secrets went quietly into eternity with her. Nearne had been an undercover agent for Britain during WW II. In her country’s most trying times of the last century she stood like so many others strong and courageous while mostly unheralded.

Here is a note of her work from a recommendation that she become an officer of the British Empire, “For five and a half months during the war she maintained constant communications to London from the most dangerous area and by her cool efficiency, perseverance and willingness to undergo any risk in order to carry out her work made possible the successful organization of her group and the delivery of large quantities of arms and equipment.”

That is some pretty heady stuff for someone who was ridiculed and underestimated by many of her superiors. They used words like this, “she is not very intelligent or practical and is lacking in shrewdness and cunning.”

This seemingly shallow woman did what most these days could never do; keep a secret and stand by her agreement to do so at great personal risk. This ability was critical in 1942 and is no less so in 2010. Let’s think about it.

1) Trust. Others had to trust her so that they could do their job. Often people will share with those they believe are spiritual in confidence, they need to share something but don’t need it to be shared with others. We must be trustworthy. Nearne signed an agreement and stood by it; we may not sign anything but our word must be our word.

2) Risk. Others first must be the motto. Nearne was eventually captured by the Gestapo and tortured by putting her in cold baths and sent to a concentration camp not to mention other humiliations. Through it all she never gave her captures any secrets. Most of us give up our secrets much easier than that. When someone trusts us with a confidence in their life we have to put their wishes first. It is hard to keep a secret otherwise why are so few able to do it. We like to share what we know especially if it makes us look smart or good. There is also a risk here that the person who shares is involved in. They are risking their personal emotions on us that we are the type of people who can be trusted.

3) Care. Nearne cared for her country and was willing to do what was best for that country. If we care for the people who share with us we will allow their personal secrets to travel one place and one place only; to God. Often when we spill the beans we say we are doing it in love. That is a bogus statement 9 times out of 10. The only place a secret needs to go is to God and that is where it needs to stay, not to mention that is where it does the most good.

4) Listen. Most people only share with us because they just need someone to listen. A good listener is someone who listens much and talks little. We have a tendency to want to talk too much and when we do it leads to saying the wrong things or things we shouldn’t. Listen much; talk little.

Secrets, they are serious business not only in battle but in the battle of life as well. The damage done by secrets shared is endless; lives are shattered, trust broken, marriages affected, church’s destroyed, friendships lost and innocent lives affected.

4 quick questions to ask when considering sharing others secrets:

1) Ask yourself what are my motives in sharing this information?
2) What good is this going to do?
3) Who is this going to effect?
4) What is this going to say about me when others find out I have shared freely?
*keywords are ‘sharing others secrets’; there not yours to share!

In September 68 years of secrets died; an agreement kept and trust honored. Let us follow the example and be found worthy of the trust others place in us.

Scripture: Proverbs 11:13, “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help us to be trustworthy friends and family members that listen with care and are able to hold our tongue from petty gossip. Guide us to be people who think of others first and honor our agreements. Lead us from temptation and make us Holy, we ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.
all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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