Do you carry a heavy load today?
Shame, a swollen burden pressing against your broken heart?
Let Abba love you.
to folks like sweat on a glass of iced tea on a hot summer day,
the condensation of cool, sweet hope as it
up against thick and humid heat of pain.
and the folks who dish it out don’t know any better. Better to assume they don’t, because the alternative would be that they shove the blame of their pain onto someone else on purpose, the recipient simply collateral damage of a load,
no one was meant to bear.
your shoulders aching from the weight of it, your frame bent and caddywampus from the way it makes you lumber through the days?
A sack of salt blistering your tender palms?
Because as much as we want to give up the shame we carry, most of us want to own it. If we’re honest, flat out honest, the shame feels good, and we appreciate the applause of those who notice the hunch of our tired backs, who inadvertently encourage us to hang on to the heavy instead of releasing it like the only One in history
who was able to say–and mean it–
forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.
Here, Abba, take the shame. Because the double portion isn’t only for the shamed, but also for the one who’s dished it out, the one who piled the double portion of sorrow on the plates of others and for whom grace
grace says the shame-throwers deserve a double portion, too. The ones who roll the dice at our feet and fight over the shredded aftermath of our soul killings, they’re captives, too, after all. They just don’t know they are.
Which is worse
Than letting go.
A double portion waits for you and waits to overflow, runneth over, pour into the brokenness of the shame-throwers’ empty hearts.
Feels like lassoing stars, this business of dropping our beloved shame bags and sharing double portions but somehow the Gospel can handle this sort of greed and apparently joy and freedom are two of the few feasts where even in our gluttony we’re never filled.
We can’t receive even a single portion when we’re clinging to the thing we can’t give up.
But when we do, we
Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance. (Isaiah 61:7-8)
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him… (Psalm 34:5-6)
“A Southern story of second chances.”
That’s one of the tag lines for How Sweet the Sound.
It’s fitting, I think. So many of the characters have been through trials and are just plain tired of trying to find a God who seems so elusive in the midst of their pain and shame.
But strange things happen when we reach the end of our selves.
Second chances come around.
More because we choose to take them than because they’re handed to us.