Saturday, January 30, 2010

shame

Have you ever experienced shame? I mean, not just momentary situational embarrassment, but looming humiliating shame? God showed me a tiny glimpse of it in a way I didn't expect.


So I've written about have two foster daughters. Along with the girls come a mound of paperwork. But one set of forms ended up with me receiving the WIC vouchers that they qualify for. I thought that sounded great at first. I mean, it's a whole new bizarre thing I'd never dealt with before. The first time I took them into our grocery store, a young woman patiently explained how to use them. I had the girls with me and we talked a bit too about them. No big whoop. The next time the checker was a woman who mentioned that it had been seven years since she had to deal with WIC (meaning personally). I couldn't help but notice her very rotten front teeth, probably from drug use or just years of poverty. But then today, I went without the girls. The checker was an older man and he sort of took his time ringing the stuff up. Two men waited patiently behind me in line. A woman told them there was no waiting in another lane, and I found myself secretly wishing they would move on. I realized I was ashamed of being seen as using the WIC vouchers.

All the way home God talked to me about shame. The kind of shame I've honestly never lived with. I mean, I've had some things I wished no one would ever find out or things that I wish I could take back, but I thought for a moment what it would be like to be that checker who had all her teeth rotten only a few years out from depending on public assistance knowing that someone was judging her past every time she opened her mouth. What about my foster kids' mom who has to admit she got her kids taken away from her? What about all of the people living in the darkness of a past they can't get away from? Those people are all around us. Or they may be us at times. And it just broke my heart to think how oblivious I am to it most of the time.

This is the song that I pray for those who are living in shame. Our God is able. His grace is more than enough to shatter the darkness that holds people prisoner of their own sin and shame. His mercy is able to heal the broken hearts of those who are living in the shame of someone else's sin they were a victim of. He can break addictions. He can restore relationships. He can clean the deepest stains.

2 comments:

Laura said...

Thanks for posting this. It was helpful to me today.

Bea said...

Bless you as you walk out God's calling on your life. He is more than enough.