Perhaps, because it's the subject of our summer Bible Study, by Debbie Vanderslice.
Perhaps, it's because Jamie and I are drinking from a fire hydrant as we go through Empowered to Connect's six-week intensive for ministry leaders. We are finding ourselves constantly weighing whether we are utilizing shame-based parenting or grace-based parenting.
But I think it's more because each day we're on this journey, I'm becoming increasingly aware of how powerful a tool shame is for our enemy, Satan.
I remember the first day I met our former girls' mama. She had not seen them in months, and as I went to her in court, she refused to look at me and was terrified to see her daughters, who had been counting the days to spending hours in a crowded court room, just to have a glimpse of their mama.
And she said, I can't face my girls. I'm too ashamed.
Or the day a mama I know signed away the rights of her son because she said, What if he were to grow up and be ashamed that I'm his mama.
Or the mother who sat on the opposite end of the bench from her mama because she said, My mama is too ashamed of me...only to hear grandmother say the same thing, concerning what her daughter thinks of her.
Then there's the young teen mom I know who when I invited her to church replied, Come on, Miss Catie. I'm too #$@!%$#@ full of shame to be with people nice like you.
I'm considering more and more that it's the great barrier to our personal spiritual revivals.
I recently heard that although Satan does not know us as our Heavenly Father knows us...He studies us well.
And the small spaces where our hope has grown shadowed, or the voices of truth have dampened...He is ready to pounce with His web of shame.
Turn the prism of Truth you're clinging to ever so slightly, and you have the whispers of shame, guilt, condemnation that begin their haunting plight.
The truth shall set you free. ~ John 8:32
And suddenly the secrets, they've...you've...been striving so intently to keep hidden, are exposed.
But no longer are we encaged by our fear of shame.
Because exposure guts our very insides and bares all....
The looming thoughts of what is left to be rebuilt paralyzes our hope.
Yet, those who hope in the Lord will never be put to shame (Psalm 25:3). Instead...
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations...
Instead of your shame, you will receive a double portion,
and instead of grace you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours. ~ Isaiah 61
Three years ago, as I drove home from my first birthfamily visit, God brought this verse to mind.
And I realized, their longed for hope is the ancient ruins...
The empty arms that ache for their children in another's care are the devastated cities...
Yet, shame can be transformed to joy, if we are willing to stand in the gap and stare down the prismed lies, giving courage to the ones who lean on us to face down their bars of despair.
And moment by moment, day by day, year by year, beauty from ashes emerges as we walk this crooked pilgrimage of hope and praise together.
And we realize that rather than compounding shame, we all with unveiled faces are being transformed with every increasing glory into the image of the One who bore all shame for us.
Looking unto Jesus,