“When shame overwhelms us, grace still surrounds us.” ~
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines shame as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.” While that is a perfect definition, it falls far short from the reality of shame. Shame is more than words. It is a state of being. For many, it is a deep state that has the ability to completely overwhelm a person.
We have all been there at one time or another in our lives. We did something or said something that made us feel horribly ashamed. In that state, we might not have been able to look at another person or to own up to what we had done. We might have felt terrible both about what we had done as well as about ourselves. We might have thought we were awful people, perhaps even to the point of being unforgiveable, unlovable, or unredeemable.
That is shame.
And yet, even when we are in the very depths of shame, even when we think that there is no hope for us, even when we think that no one, not even God, could love us, we are still surrounded by grace. That is the reminder to us that the holy season of Lent brings. Lent tells us that we are all lovable and redeemable. Moreover, Lent tells us that we are forgivable.
Oh, to be forgiven. That is the craving of all souls. Adam and Eve hid in the vegetation of the Garden because they were overwhelmed by the shame of their sin. While they wanted forgiveness, they felt undeserving. We, too, often attempt to hide from God as we wallow in our sin. That doesn’t have to be the case.
God loves us. He loved us enough to send His Son who loved us enough to die for us. There is nothing that God will not forgive to a soul that is contrite.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God for the grace that you need to cast aside what keeps you from Him so that you may draw closer to Him today.