#MeToo —Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement

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I sat with 2 friends this week who fell hard. Not just a little stumble. A full humiliation fall… I won’t go in to the details—details don’t matter. Well, the details matter to them —and they re-live the details over and over again in their minds eye. It’s haunting them. Shame does that, it’s haunting. It’s pervasive and awful. Shame is the devils favorite tool. I don’t know how God will redeem this brokenness, but I know He will. He always does when we allow Him to… 

I have been obsessed with the verse “mercy triumphs over judgement”—mercy wins. It’s so much easier to stand in judgement. We always judge the things we don’t understand. And we judge the things that hurt us, it’s easier that way. 

I have stood in much judgment the last few weeks like the rest of America. Hearing the tragedy that so many women have endured. It hit some buttons in this woman—#metoo. I wasn’t ready to share with the world and maybe I won’t ever be. But all these allegations coming to light makes it difficult to repress and hide the feelings inside that haunt so many of us. The shame that comes with any sort of scandal or abuse in our past, whether it was public or private it’s haunting. It’s good to know we aren’t alone and I am so glad so many women are finding freedom by sharing. I am hoping these men can find freedom too. 

It’s only shame when we hide and run. Shame can’t live in the light. My friend used to tell me all the time “share the shame away”—shame runs away the more we share it. Shame only lives in darkness. The more we fight for freedom the less power shame has. I am NOT saying that some things we have done or that have been done to us are not shameful… they are. They are horrendously shameful. BUT we can’t allow shame to win—A shameful act doesn’t define a person. BUT if we don’t deal with that shame, it will kill us. And lead to more shame filled behavior… Shame that we don’t deal with turns in to awful decisions and behavior. Blame it on the shame… 

I don’t know an abuser who wasn’t themselves abused… 
But that doesn’t help much when we are in the thick of dealing with the ramifications of someone else’s awful choices, that will forever affect us. And that is not some over-simplifying way to get people off the hook. We are never off the hook for our choices. The hard part is that some of us are on the hook for others (shameful) choices as well. And that is a very hard path to walk… the shame that comes with abuse is like no other. And the shame the abuser carries is like no other…

2 quick things I do to deal with shame:

1—Share the details. “The devils in the details”—yup. But share it anyway. Not with the world, but with one trusted friend or counselor. Share the shame away. The very thing you don’t want to share—that is what you need to share. #metoo

2—Run to the grace givers! And I mean RUN, hug, embrace. Run to those that have encountered grace and can therefore encounter you in your shame and lavish you with grace. No over-simplified ‘Christian-ese’ please. “God has a purpose and a plan” doesn’t cut it when you are drowning in despair because the shame is so palpable. 

“Mercy triumphs over judgement” James 2:13b

Love & Grace,

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