It’s a horrible moment when we realize that at the depth of our souls we’re depraved. When we think we’re connected to the Vine, in sync with the Savior, and linked to the Shepherd….and then, boom, our soul is exposed. The real us. The black heart. The crud at our core.
That happened to a dear friend recently.And her transparency about it has been sweet.
She was making a plea among trusted associates for their prayer. In the process she uncovered something really ugly about herself. Attending an upcoming event would be a challenge for her, not because of distance or inconvenience or timing, but because of the shame and embarrassment she felt due to the pain one of her family members had caused. She confessed that she wanted to shrink away, completely disappear, to make every excuse in the book not to attend. In essence, she asked they pray for courage and grit to face the family of the offended.
But even as she spoke the words in this prayer circle, it started. A tug on her soul she knew she couldn’t ignore. She tried to verbalize her feelings but couldn’t find the words. Was it really courage that she needed? Was it really just a dogged determination to face these dear ones, pay her respects, and head home?
Or was it her own shame? Was it the humiliation she felt as a relative of the offender? Had those behaviors damaged her own reputation? Was it her own disgrace she was feeling?
Oh, the answer was painful.
She had moved beyond wishing the indiscretions and the pain would disappear, beyond wishing she could press rewind and go back in time with hope a different path would be chosen. One with less embarrassment. One with less negative consequences.
And – uh oh – one that disgraced her less.
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. Psalm 19:7a
There it was, the crud at her core. The sin of pride, of thinking of herself more highly than she ought. The sin of fear, of worrying more about what others would think of her than how she would behave.
Exposed. For her to ignore or to face. To deny or address.
Exposed, yes, but also confessed. And now? Refreshed.
May the crud at our core be revealed and confessed, allowing us all to shepherd more effectively today…