The words of the old hymn caught my ear as I fiddled with the church bulletin and struggled to settle in to the Sunday service, mentally, physically and spiritually. Some Sunday mornings are like that, after all. The cross hangs … Continue reading
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.
No one asks for shame
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,
indeed a pall,
no one was meant to bear.
Do you feel shame,
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
oh, elusive 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.
Drop it, then.
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)
The Harlan family struggles with emerging from generations of shame in the novel How Sweet the Sound. For a limited time, you can order the e-book version of the novel for only $2.99 (or even less at some retailers). Click here to choose from your favorite e-book retailer today.
And see why folks like Rachel McMillan at BreakPoint are saying How Sweet the Sound is not your grandmother’s Christian fiction (click here to read her gracious article).