Understanding Shame

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I glance across the room and see her eyes. I smile and wave. Yes, she waves back, but her eyes...they look haunted and look away as fast as they can. I know why. Convicted of a crime. It is shame that is seeping through her eyes, and she can't hold my gaze. Maybe in the hope that I won't see it. Shame can always spot shame...I am not concerned about her past because I only feel for her. I get shame, because I live with my own.

No, I haven't committed a crime, but shame lives inside and seeps through when I least expect it. You can see it when I have a hard time meeting your gaze. I am afraid to connect. So many of my connections {friendships} turned out poorly in the end. A person like me begins to wonder what is wrong with her. I am ashamed of my past like she is. I was not the perpetrator but rather the victim. The shame is there regardless. The shame of not being accepted...of not being worthy of love. Shame is no respecter of persons and it has no favorites. If you have sinned against someone or you have been sinned against or you are associated with anyone wearing some type of "scarlet letter" then you know shame. You spot it because you LIVE it.

We all seep shame.

Since the garden, man has had a relationship with it. It showed up first in the form of fig leaves sewn together in an effort to hide. But God was not caught unaware. He always had a plan to eradicate shame. Regardless of how we feel about ourselves, God gazes at us and lures us out of hiding. Because fig leaves won't do. Our efforts to hide our misery always fail. There is only one solution to shame, and it lies in a Savior.

Join me over the next several Thursdays as I explore the very thing we wish we could hide...

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