Monday, 6 October 2008

Down And Dirty!

There is no feeling in the world like it! It is absolutely depressing! You don’t want to see anyone’s face. You don’t want to hear anyone’s voice. Your heart is broken to a thousand pieces. You just want to keep hiding in your bedroom, sleep the whole day if you can, lose yourself in those magazines, TV soapies, or the internet. You don’t even want to take a shower! You are ashamed of yourself, because everybody now knows about the horrible mistake you committed. Your reputation is ruined! And, you can’t stand the fact that people are probably talking about you. You are so embarrassed. You just wish you could crawl into your grave and die, and never live to see another day of shame again!

Well, I have no idea what might be making you feel this way. Maybe, you are a teenager who secretly had an abortion and now everyone found out about it. Maybe last night, the police knocked on your door, because your neighbours couldn’t stand listening to you and your husband scream at each other. You were caught stealing, lying, or cheating in an exam. I don’t know exactly what you did wrong, but I know Mary Magdalene was literally caught in the act of adultery. And, as if that was not humiliating enough, her sin was proclaimed for all to hear. She was found guilty. They wanted her stoned. They made her stand before a group of strangers. She was so ashamed, she couldn’t even face her Lord. She kept staring down, probably thinking: ‘Get on with it already! End it all now, for I can’t take this any longer!’ And, that’s exactly what He did! He bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger, and put an end to her suffering: "...neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

Dear friend, let’s face it! What you did was horrible. It was disgusting. There’s no point beating around the bush. You sinned. You broke the law of God and the law of man, I agree. You messed up big time. But, someone is prepared to go down before you and write it all on the sand. In South Africa, where I come from, some Zulu women still kneel when they are in the presence of their elders. Kneeling is considered a sign of respect and an expression of honour. That’s exactly what Jesus did for Mary Magdalene, a prostitute who was caught flagrantly. Instead of condemning her, He knelt down before her, in front of all her accusers. He respected and honoured her, and then wrote it all in the sand. I remember as a child once playing in the sand and writing my name on it. I got frustrated, because every time I reached the end, the beginning was already blurred, as the sand was blown away by the wind. Now, what was it that you did wrong again? Oops! Can’t read it now! It’s been blown away by the wind! It’s gone, just like that! Well, maybe not quite just like that. It took an unselfish act, roughly 2008 years ago, from a Lord who’d rather save you than condemn you.

Don’t let it all end here for you. Begin by coming out of your bedroom, taking that shower, throwing away the garbage that is smelling in your kitchen, opening the windows of your house and letting in some air and sunshine, cleaning up the mess in the house, cooking your first meal in weeks, going out to take your walk, daring to show your face in your neighbourhood, going to church, and step by step, day by day, continuing to live! Trust me! You can do this! Right here, right now, you can change the course of your entire life, by not allowing your mistakes to define who you are. Act rationally, rather than emotionally. Instead of wallowing on the fact that you are ashamed, rather think about how He spared her. He did it once, He did it again with me, and He can certainly do it for you. Let Jesus spare you the stones the world is ready to throw at you!

I dedicate this blog entry to a very special friend of mine, Aline Passos, who had the courage to believe in me, when I had given up on myself. She came into the little corner I had buried myself in, and dragged me out, kicking and screaming, to face a Lord, who was willing to go down and dirty for me. Beloved Aline, wherever you are, I am sure great will be your reward, because you dared to save my soul!

With all my love, and in faith,



Evelyn Higginbotham said...

It's so interesting how temptation works. It's like the devil plays both sides of the fence and doesn't care, as long as we stay defeated. His alluring voice gets us to do what we know is wrong and provides all the arguments to justify why we just have to do it. But the moment we fall for the lie, he starts pointing his accusing finger at us as if he were the voice of purity and all things good: "Look what a disgusting evil creature you are! Don't even think of praying - you're worthless!" Then we're stuck with hating the mistake we made and convinced that we have to wallow in guilt forever, so we end up even hating ourselves. Getting our lives cleaned up and right with God is so much easier when we realize that we don't have to put up with condemnation! Thank goodness that God never demands that we deserve His love, just that we accept His forgiveness, throw our past behind and change for good.

Sabrina Durant said...

This is very strong for me because I remember a time when i fell into sin because of temptation a long while back. I remember feeling so ashamed, worthless and dirty that I couldn't even pray to God anymore. I thought that's it God really hates me now and He will never forgive me. That was a lie because He did forgive me. Not only that I had to let go of what happened and forgive myself too. Only then was I able to really move forward.