Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Redemptive Story of Shame (Part 2)

The small statue arrived in a card board box, surrounded by a soft coating of bubble-wrap and protected by layers of Styrofoam popcorn. She is special - a treasured possession. The figure is bronze in coloring and in the shape of a woman, curled up in a ball, arms wrapped tightly around her knee with her head cast down.

The feel of a card board box was familiar to her. The last time she was surrounded by cardboard, she was tossed in to a box with other rejected items, thrown together and delivered to a place that she did not know – a garage sale. She was unwanted, discarded and of no use to the previous owner. It appeared that she had no value other than what could be gleaned from the sale.

This time she arrived in a box marked “FRAGILE: Handle with Care,” for not only is she fragile and special, she is being used for a purpose.

Months ago, my friend and I spotted her on a table at the garage sale. Upon seeing her we sighed, “shame” and bought her immediately. We saw value in her -- we saw ourselves in her. She depicted shame, sorrow, pain and loneliness – a part of us that we learned (and were learning) to realize, embrace, and grow from. She is the “shape of shame” with a redemptive story. (For more about "shame," see "The Shape of Shame").

My friend placed the statue in her counseling office. One day, a client came to visit. The client noticed the statue and asked, “Where did you find that?” My friend explained the story of the statue -- the shape of shame -- and the client (a decorator) realized that she had discarded a treasure. At one time, she decorated the home of a family and they decided that the statue did not fit the “new” decor. It was – she was – discarded. This time when the client saw the statue, it had a new value to her as she began to realize her own story of shame and a desire grew in her to look at her own shame and be changed.

I sent for the statue one day. That is when she arrived in the box marked “FRAGILE.” I used it when speaking to hurting women, reminding them of the loving-kindness of Jesus, Who is the lifter of their heads – not the deliverer of shame. She sits on my desk, right now, as a reminder to me of the same truth.

Dear reader, perhaps you feel discarded today. Maybe your story is one of being cast out, not wanted rejected. It is a very lonely and vulnerable place to be, but take heart God is at work. You are special and He has a purpose. He does redemptive work in the lives of the ones He loves, and who love Him. He takes that which is painful and He brings life from it. We may struggle and wonder, “Could it be true?” Sometimes it is scary as we do not know what the result will look like. However, God is faithful and He desires to take those painful places in our lives, heal them and bring purpose out of them.

The statue, even though just a statue, is a reminder to me that God can and will take the lives of those who feel discarded, hurt and lonely, and deliver them, when they surrender their lives to His will and trust Him for all aspects of their lives. This statue is made by human hands, but we are formed by the Hands of God, and in continuing to hold us, He brings about change and beauty. We may not know exactly what it will look like, but we can trust that He is faithful.

Soon, I will place the little statue carefully into the cardboard box and send her back to my friend, but for now I am enjoying her presence as a reminder of the One Who delivers, redeems and loves unfailingly (Psalm 44:2).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant blog, I hadn't come across previously in my searches!
Keep up the excellent work!

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