Imagine for a few moments. You have some deep, dark secrets in your recent past, things you have done that you hope no one ever knows about. You regret them, but there is no going back in time and undoing them. Even worse, these things done were to the detriment of your best friend’s reputation. He doesn’t know who did those dark things that hurt him so much…
Until today. You found out today that he found out about those things you have done. You know that he must be hurting and even very angry with you. You can’t bear the thought of seeing him again, you are so ashamed of what you have done.
Then your door bell rings. You open the door and your eyes connect with your friend who is standing on your front porch. You feel your face go flush with embarrassment and your knees go weak with shame. Your gaze and your head lower toward the floor. Your mind is racing but words escape you. Those three seconds seem like an eternity, your emotions are a storm in your inner being that is raging like a hurricane. You wish that you could die, or disappear, or simply cease to exist.
Suddenly the unexpected happens. Your friend steps through the doorway and embraces you. It’s not a cordial, common greeting type of hug. His powerful arms quickly draw you into his embrace with a forcefulness that is not violent, but it communicates deliberate intent. His shoulder presses up under your chin as does your shoulder to his chin.
As he holds you close, he won’t let go. The longer he holds you tightly, the more you break inside — not from being physically crushed, but by the power of his unspoken love in that moment that is permeating your heart. Tears begin to roll from your eyes and from his eyes too. You begin to reciprocate the hug with an equal level of power, you never want this experience of genuine friendship to end.
After some time passes and a lot of non-verbal communication has been exchanged, your hug slowly begins to loosen, then you step back. Your gaze immediately avoids his eyes by looking down at his feet, you are still too ashamed to look him in the eye. That’s when he does something that breaks the constricting hold of the shame that has bound your heart.
He slowly raises his hand, and with his relaxed index finger he places it under your chin raising your head so that your eyes can meet his again. His still hasn’t said a word, but in the short time he has been present he has communicated something liberating to your soul that you will forever remember about your friend.
He finally is the first one to say something. He says, “Come with me to my home. I have prepared for a large gathering of my best friends. I would be honored if you would join me, and walk into the gathering by my side.”
“But you, Lord, are… the One who lifts my head high.”
~ Psalm 3:3
As Christians we are friends of Jesus Christ (John 15:15). As humans we have done awful things that remain deep, dark secrets, many of which remain hidden from our friends. Though we know that we have been forgiven, when we see Jesus face-to-face we are going to have a reaction of shame and embarrassment for what we have done in the past that hurt Him and reflected badly on Him. We will know that He knows, and our gaze will avoid His eyes. But when He shows up at our house, He is going to embrace us with an all-powerful and everlasting love, and He is going to invite us to His home. He has been preparing for a gathering at His home for all of His best friends. He wants us at His side as we walk into His home, a place called Heaven.
Jesus is our deliverer from shame. He is our healer of embarrassment. He is the forgiver of our sin. He is the restorer of our soul. He is the lifter of our heads. He is the one who reinstates our gaze being locked with His gaze. He is our hope!
He is YOUR hope! Today He stands at the door of your heart and knocks. Regardless of how deep and dark your sins have been (or are at this very moment!), if you will open up to Him, He will be the lifter of your head!
#PastorsTip #Psalm3 #Embarrassment #Shame #DarkSin #Regret #Embrace #Friend #OpenDoor #Forgiveness #Restoration