Shameless.

Her name was Jyoti Singh Pandey: Father of Indian Gang Rape Victim Speaks Out.

There is something about these words, spoken by Jyoti’s father.  In a world where parents are often pressured, and rapes sometimes occur as the result of family disgrace, or where rape is seen just as sex and is therefore family disgrace… these words ring out. Honest.  True.  Bold.  Proud.  Shameless.

There is something about shame.  It usually occurs with some form of sin.  In the Garden of Eden, we read about sin coming into the world.  Just one simple command: don’t eat the fruit of this one tree.  No Levitical law.  No Ten Commandments.  Just one.  But temptation arose and sin entered our world.  And it has stayed with us ever since, waiting for Jesus to come back and establish His reign.  We have escape from sin in Jesus now, but not perfect peace from it.

But then what happened?  Adam and Eve became ashamed.  And that shame has stayed with us too.  And it’s good.  Sometimes.  It’s our conscience speaking up.  Sometimes.  And other times, it’s culture.  It’s false guilt.  It’s what we’ve been made to believe we should feel guilty for.  It’s not having enough money.  Or admitting to a wrong.  Not the wrong-doing causing the shame, but the sheer admittance.  We are Adam and Eve.  We hide.  

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Sin is sin.  There is no arguing with that.  If you’re not sure you believe this, there’s some interesting food for thought HERE.  But perhaps sin was unavoidable… just maybe, if it hadn’t happened in the Garden, it would have just happened somewhere else.  Maybe while we battle sin daily, we need to battle shame with it.  Maybe the war on shame will be the key to the daily battle against sin.  Maybe.

Sin separates us from God.  But so does shame.  Shame made Adam and Eve hide.  Instead of approaching God based on His love, in boldness, saying “We messed up! Help!” Adam and Eve ran away.  And we do the same thing.  With God.  With each other.  

The dangerous part is that we do it when we’re not at fault– We have these bodies all backwards.  We don’t want to talk about rape.  We blame the victim.  We call it sex.

We don’t want a woman breastfeeding in public, however modestly.  We don’t even want to say the word “breast,” unless we’re talking about poultry.

We argue about the fine line between pornography and art.  

But we sexualize our TV, our music, our attitudes, our hearts.  And wonder why when we look at the world, we see sex.  I should mention here, I’m pretty pro-sex.  In the right contexts.  But sex in the wrong contexts has brought about a ton of shame.  And it’s taken our beautiful masterpiece bodies, designed by God, and hidden them.  From fig leaves to designer jeans.  

It’s late and I may be rambling.  I’m not suggesting we all just de-robe, walk around, and say it’s what God intended.  But what about teaching our sons, our daughters, and maybe even ourselves– that bodies are beautiful.  That they’re sacred.  That we need to live right, and that this is the key to no shame. That it’s ok to know your body, to educate yourself, to love what God made in you.  Each one of us is a sculpture by the Greatest Artist who exists.  He’s signed each of our hearts with a desire that we try to fill until we find Him and manage to give in to His love.  But some of us will find sex, alcohol, money, fame, science, pleasure, and a host of other things to try to fill that desire with first (which, are all OK things– but in proper priority).  And even those of us who find Him, will struggle with shame. We will call Jesus our Savior, but refuse to accept His love, because we are too ashamed.  Or we will accept the love, but never feel its full measure, too ashamed of our daily messes.  Shame.

Shame that makes us hide from God when He’s the only one who can make it better.  Shame that makes us hide from each other, and makes it easy for sin to target and pick us off.  

Almost a week in to 2013, I’m thinking it’s not too late for resolutions.  So I resolve to attempt to live more shamelessly in 2013.  To be willing to be uncomfortable, at times, in the proper situations, to attempt to free myself and others.  To attempt an honest conversation.  To connect, in a real, honest, intimate way– the way God intended us to interact with Him and each other.  

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