Shame often overshadows any grace we may be offered, as we see Joanna struggle with in Where Healing Starts.
Today, I share with you a life parable to encourage you not to participate in the shame culture so prevalent today.
The phone rang, breaking the silence of night. Keeping her eyes closed, Andi rolled over to pick up. She swiped across the screen. “Hello?”
Her eyes flew open. What was her manager calling about at this hour.
“Weren’t you supposed to serve at the breakfast this morning?”
She glanced at the clock and groaned. Six o’clock. She was supposed to have been there half an hour ago. “Sorry. Be there in a few minutes.”
She jumped out of bed and threw on her catering uniform and ran a brush through her hair. A few minutes with her make up and she was out the door. Fortunately, her dorm was the closest to the cafeteria. She cut across the lawn and was there in under 5 minutes.
As student manager, she always got there on time. Until today. At least there wasn’t a large crew waiting on her. It was a small breakfast and she had chosen to take care of it herself.
She clocked in and found her boss already gathering her supplies. Working together, they had everything ready in short order. At the door to the parking lot, her boss went through the list, checking to make sure she hadn’t forgotten anything. She prided herself on never having forgotten something she needed.
Of course today, she had almost forgotten to even be here. She kept waiting for him to lecture her about being late. As she opened the door, she turned and faced her boss. “Why haven’t you laid into me about being late?”
He just grinned and folded his arms. “You’re already telling yourself everything you need to hear. Why should I add to a well delivered lecture? Now, go do your job.”
~ ~ ~
The easiest choice would have been for Andi’s boss to have docked her pay or reemed her in front of other workers. But that was not his way or the best choice.
When someone’s messes spill out over us, a quick tongue can add to the burden of the enemy’s whispers. The struggle to fend off his lies. On the right and left he whispers the suggestion, “you are not enough” “you will never get it right.”
Their own heart betrays them into thinking there is nothing they can do and the shame grows. Like quicksand it sucks downward until the struggle to be free is life or death.
Silence sometimes offers the best advice. A word of encouragement the best correction. A hand up the surest discipline. A look of the eye the quickest reign.
Before the quicksand pulls them down. Before the whispers take them out. Look to yourself and your own gift of heavenly grace offered for your messes. Give that.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2
Have you ever experienced grace when stuck in the quicksand of shame?