Here is a short meditation as I have been thinking about 1 John 1 and reading the poem, Cleanse the Thoughts by Walter Bruegemann
Why do I try to hide
When I am already fully known by You?
My secrets ooze out of the pores of my life,
despite my best efforts to keep them hidden.
My shame keeps me
from the help that I so desperately need.
Your wooing voice cries out to me,
Allow yourself to be known.
Join in the celebration with the saints,
our blood-bought victory,
our bondage-breaking liberation,
our friendship-restoring redemption.
Allow yourself to be known
And to be loved
as a less-than-perfect
image-bearer of the King.”
More from Allender’s seminar on “Learning to Love Your Story.”
Allender said that due to the nature of sin, we want to hide our weakness and brokeness. We hide and fight others who can expose our heart. I can certainly identify with that although it seems that we should be safe with our fellow brothers and sisters. In my experience, it usually takes one person to have the courage to start and then others soon follow with their stories of brokeness. Allender encouraged us by saying, “Brokeness is what God uses to heal us. Weakness is the way God’s strength is shown.” Ok, I can live with that–just read 2 Cor 4! Following are some notes that I took from his seminar. Maybe they will encourage you as they did for me.
“The stories that did you harm, God loves to use for yours and others redemption,” according to Allender. “God wants to redeem and use for good where it looks like evil had won. Because our memories are often so painful, we don’t want to look at them. But there is something in those stories tha will reveal the heart of Jesus. He wants us to turn, look at and enter into our stories. Our stories of failure and sin are doorways to reveal how much God loves us. We are sometimes afraid of our past because it carries too much shame. Yet, Jesus uses this shame to shape us for the Kingdom of God. God uses our past to bless others (remember Joseph in Gen 50:20). God loses nothing of our past for His purposes! How? We don’t know but God wastes nothing!
He also will use our strategies that we have developed to cope with our encounters with pain and evil. More about that next time.