{another chance}

an inspirational entry on shame

I remember choking on these lyrics the first time I heard them, "I'll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon the cross." Cue the ugly cry as I stared at my circumstances, broken-hearted. I had compromised biiiiig time in some areas and was so ashamed. And till the warm truth of that song, I turned a cold shoulder to the hope of forgiveness. Shame convinced me I didn't deserve another chance.

This summer I met a girl who needed a second chance too. On a 75 degree, gorgeous-in-every-way-L.A. day, I served food on Skid Row. There I was, navigating cardboard boxes and hypodermic needles. There she was, fidgeting outside the women's shelter in this concrete jungle.

If people were a color, she'd match her gray sweatpants. Washed out and muted; buried under a cold world for far too long. She inched over to me to ask for help, but y'all, she couldn't look me in the eye. The shame from past deeds cloaked her face. It made her doubt she was worthy of anything, much less another chance for a hot meal and cold drink.

You see, she'd stood in the food line, but some guys pushed her out. I mean, you'd have to be cold to bully this woman. She couldn't defend herself and needed someone to make a way. So together, we walked to the front of the food truck line {not gonna lie, it was fun breezing past those bullies}. But I felt ridiculous handing her scrambled eggs and water. Cause surely, she needed so much more. We all do at some point {don't we?}.

She needed to know this place didn't have to be her last stop. That the things she'd done to land on Skid Row could be forgiven... forgotten, even. This cold season could turn into a warmer one. I wanted to give her this truth...

Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. ~Song of Solomon 2:11

Winter's that gloomy season that should pass. But what if it hangs heavy over us?

What if one bad-for-us choice turns into 100 that beat us to our own frigid Skid Row? What if mistakes made convince us that we don't deserve another shot? Been there? Me too.

That's when we gotta rely on truth to help lift the shame and shift the seasons. Those lyrics I choked up over? They reminded me that Jesus is our ultimate second chance.

Shame bullies us out of line. But Jesus has the right to bypass it. His death on the cross guarantees that when we ask, He'll forgive and forget {so we don't live ashamed}. He's the only way our winter of doubt turns into a spring of hope. And He'll always lead us to the front of the line for so much more than eggs and water.

Something Else...
Another Chance by Roger Sanchez

Samantha Reed so enjoys a warm spring day, especially with friends. Join her at www.samanthareed.org.

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© 2012 by Samantha Reed. All rights reserved.

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