I heard crying from the room my two little grandchildren shared whilst on vacation. They were supposed to be sleeping. When I opened the door to see what was going on the little guy immediately gave his defense:
“She hit my head really hard, like this!” Then he thumped his head dramatically with a closed fist.
“But honey, now you have hit your own head,” I said.
“Yeah, but she started it!”
Today the Lord has reminded me how I have perpetuated some of the attacks on my own head long after insensitive, wounded, well-meaning-but-mistaken, or even downright nasty people have hurt me with words. I remember word variations of the shame-on-you theme of my childhood and thump my own head with them sometimes. When someone calls me on it, I give an explanation of why I am not at rest. This is my history; this is where the idea came from that I am not smart enough, not pretty enough, not hard working enough, not ________ enough. I rehearse the injury and end up hurting myself yet again.
Abba says, “Who told you that?” (He asked a similar question of Adam and Eve who hid in shame, “Who told you you’re naked?”)
Guilt says “I did something wrong” and can lead to the kind of sorrow that makes us want to change. Shame says “I am something wrong,” for which there is no recourse but to hide -or perhaps blame. Shame tells me I will not be okay until the world changes -until the territorial big sisters of the world are no longer a threat.
God’s solution (if I don’t hide from him) is to raise me up to his perspective, and tell me who he sees when he looks at me. He tells me I am of great worth to him and that he loves me so much he freely provided a way for all that shame to be lifted off -by bearing the shame himself on the cross.
He didn’t start it, but he ended it when he proclaimed, “It is finished.”
Thank you, Lord. You give me wings to fly. You raise me up to all that I can be .