I am linking up with Bonnie Gray and her book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace, again. As she explored the thought of Rest as it relates to being alone with Jesus, she re-told the story of the Mount of Transfiguration, and the Disciples seeing the Glory of Jesus shining before them (Can you imagine being witness to such an incredible moment?) But the fear that overtook them as the Mountain Trembled, was QUIETED as Jesus spoke to them, ALONE with only them.
So, is there a quietness that my fearful heart needs to embrace in my own time of being ALONE with Jesus?
HUMILIATION and SHAME
Those two little words were never part of my picture of disease or illness.
In the past, I thought I viewed people who were suffering through the eyes of compassion. I hurt for them, and I wanted to find a way to help them. I wanted to lift them to Jesus most of all.
But something changed when I was the one suffering.
I never thought about the humiliation that might come when I could not hold the coins in my hand at the check-out counter. I never thought about the shame of being seen as the Shuffling-One as I tried to move out of the way for the Hurried-Ones. No, I had felt the shame of messing up from my own mistakes, or being hurt by another's wrong choices.
But how was it that I came to this place of being humiliated by my own physical condition? And where did I pick up this feeling of being ashamed by my illness? I was as shocked by what I was carrying around in my heart, even more than what I was carrying around in my body.
As I cried out to Jesus, I realized that God never HUMILIATES. God brings HUMBLENESS, a lesson that I have asked to be taught many times throughout my lifetime. I was ready to learn again, here in this place of Chronic Illness. But I realized that before I could learn more about humbleness, I would need to learn how to quiet my heart from this weight of SHAME that I carry with me.
Quiet my own heart? There is so much fear attached to shame and humiliation: Fear of being exposed, feeling naked in the shame. I am not alone in this Shame Game. I have borne the burdens of many others who also walk hunched over by shame. Could it be that Jesus is letting me physically bear this shuffling time, hunched over in protectiveness from the pain, so that I can let that compassion run deeper in my veins?
Jesus invites me in, where He dwells, into my most vulnerable heart. And He whispers
HUSH, BE STILL, HEAR WHAT I HAVE TO SAY
I cannot be near to His Heart without feeling His heartbeat. He covers the Shame of the naked ones, and He lifts up the shuffling of the humiliated ones.
"So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine." Ezekiel 16:8
The Lord of all, calls us HIS OWN and invites us to share in HIS GLORY. When HE covers our shame, with HIS OWN cloak, then we truly are transformed, lifting our shuffling to gaze on HIM.