What to do with shame?
Last night the topic of the healing of memories was raised. Rather than finding healing, though, I was hit afresh with a deep sense of shame I feel over a few memories from my childhood.
They were still bothering me deeply this morning during a scheduled time of silent prayer.
In this time of silent prayer, though, I began my time with God in a way that Brennan Manning encourages. I opened my palms upward toward God (in a posture of being ready to receive from Him), and I prayed simply, “Abba, I belong to You.” It hit me that all of me belongs to Him—not just the things that I fell glad about in my life but also the things in my past that I feel ashamed of. But the sense of shame still nagged at me.
Then I got to thinking about the promise in Isaiah 53:4 then when Jesus went to the cross for us He picked up our griefs and carried our sorrows. It struck me that as much as I have taught about that for years, I have never applied it to the matter of these things from my childhood that I have felt ashamed of. That still bothered me. Those things just seemed to me too disgusting for Jesus to pick up and carry to the cross.
Then I got a picture of Jesus with just one hand nailed to the cross. As I took in that picture in my mind I realized that I was rather saying to Christ, “Just go through a partial crucifixion for me. Just hang partway upon the cross so as to cover just some of the things in my life. Other things in my life cannot be covered by Your death, so don’t bother hanging there for those.”
How ridiculous is that thinking! Either all of my sins and shame are covered by Jesus’ death on the cross for us or none of them are. He hung fully on the cross to cover me fully! Hallelujah!