Sunday, May 10, 2020

When I am filled with shame

As we continue to talk about anxiety in this pandemic, one source of fear is the feeling of shame.

Yes, I know about shame.

It it in the memory of an action or a thought that is so dreadfully wicked I can hardly believe I did it, or even thought it. The worst ones are the ones I carried on for days, for months, for years even without turning back. I just went to the same dry well over and over again.

In his book, When I am Afraid, Ed Welch reminds us that "shame-filled people, when they really know Jesus, want to move towards Him... Jesus seemed to prefer them. He searched out the demon-possessed, lepers, and prostitutes." We can see this so clearly in one of my favorite Bible passages, Luke 7 of the sinful woman who came and anointed Jesus' feet during a dinner at Simon the Pharisee's house. This story so intrigued me that I wrote a back-story about it. But I digress.

And so I asked Him: Jesus, where were You when I was sinning? Were You standing in the corning facing the other way because You could not bare to watch? Were You repulsed? Disgusted? Angry? Disappointed?

And He said to me...

I was there, I did not run in the corner to hide. I was weeping for you and the pain your sin was going to cause you and these others that I dearly love.

I did not take away the desire for the sin but I did make you aware of the shame and the pain. And that kept you safe. I opened your eyes, closed that door, set you free, and put you on the path to healing. I saved you.

Welch continues, "whenever Jesus touched, or was touched by someone unclean, power flowed out of Him...taking the shame of the person onto Himself, and passing on His holiness onto the unclean person."

“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown Me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven....Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:47-49, 50)

Father, thank You that You love me, saved me, healed me. You really did save me from my sin because You had a plan for my life, a beautiful plan, a deeply valuable plan, not as I wanted or saw it, but in Your better way. Thank you.Take now the last drop of my shame so I can serve You better, I can rest more freely, I can comfort others with the comfort I have been given from You, my Beloved, God-Hero, My Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

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