"And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten … And you shall be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people (my daughters and sons) shall never be put to shame."
Joel 2:25, 26, The Amplified Bible
"Touch" - To cause or permit a body part, especially the hands or fingers, to come in contact with, and then to feel or have an emotional effect on someone.
Has something happened in my life that has caused me to feel "shame"?
"Shame" - A painful feeling brought about by a strong sense of embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace.
"The future accumulates like a weight upon the past. The weight upon the earliest years is easier to remove to let that time spring up like grass that has been crushed. The years following childhood become welded to their future, massed like stone, and often the time beneath cannot spring back into growth like new grass; it lies bled of its green in a new shape … entangled beneath the stone."
INSPIRATION: "Jesus' touch will remove our shame."
I live in extremely rocky terrain. Most of the walls around our house are built from rock that was unearthed when the house was being constructed. Every so often, I'll see a little piece of grass or some tiny wild flower peeking out from under the red rocks. It is as though the hearty plant is shouting, "Big rock, you cannot weigh me down. You cannot stunt my growth. You cannot destroy me." And so from under the heavy burden, new life springs up.
The effect of shame in our lives is a lot like the weight caused by heavy rocks on plants. They are "life extinguishers!" Constant embarrassment gives way to a sense of unworthiness which disgraces me and causes me to feel ashamed.
Perhaps you can relate to the way I just described shame, for possibly shame has been a constant companion in your life for a very long time. Like a "bad penny," you can't seem to rid yourself of this self-destroying toxin.
If I am touching a place in your life that is like an open wound, then I know you will be able to relate to the woman who was hemorrhaging. Bleeding and shame went hand-in-hand 2,000 years ago. I have never read a better description of the condition this bleeding woman faced than the words penned by Kathy Galloway in Silence In Heaven. In her poem, "Shame," she portrays the hemorrhaging women this way:
"Shame, or not shame.
I never know.
I know that all the messages of flesh
and blood scream at me, ‘shame, you should feel shame,
you are not clean, you do not measure up
to what the standard is.'
This seepage, slippage, flow and flood,
this blood that comes and comes
but will not come in proper places
but shames and blames and bleeds
upon the rags of pride and shame
and stains and taints and taunts
and shames and haunts and wretchedness
of those who claim, or would absorb it.
This blood, that I cannot contain
that rises, swells, torments, distends,
that weakens, wastes, defeats, unsexes,
undermines and unacceptably lays low,
this shame, this means that never finds an end,
this blood, this flood, this torrent never spent,
this shame, this shame, this shame."
The entire being of the hemorrhaging woman was slipping away. Bleeding away. But, thank God, her story didn't end in shame. It ended in healing.
Louder than the scream of shame, stronger than her sense of unworthiness, a voice of longing propelled her through a crowd to the hem of a Man's coat.
And she reached out, not so much to be cured, as to reclaim her life. In that one touch, the years that the "locusts had stolen" were restored. "The woman came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of His coat. At that moment, her bleeding stopped" (Luke 8:44). Her shame was swept away in a flood of healing love.
"Is there a hemorrhage in your own life that needs to be faced, or one which you can help a friend to face? If so, face it sooner rather than later; for only that way can the healing touch of Christ's garment, stop the bleeding of your blood, the draining of your resources for goodness, and bring you back to a full life, restore you to health. There is then a miracle, a miracle that can be yours."
The Word to Set You Free
"Dear God: Help me to admit mistakes freely without feeling shame, and to recognize that they come to teach me. Help me to find my own voice, to say what I mean and mean what I say. Help me to see the good and to laugh at myself and at life more. Help me to discover my gifts and honor the uniqueness of others. Help me to accept who I am, beloved and special being in Your eyes. And above all, help me to remain patient and gentle with myself."
Robert and Janet Ellsworth
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.