Coke is my go-to drink during the day, a glass of wine instead for the evening hours. M&M’s and pop tarts have been mentioned frequently enough throughout my previous writings that no-one would be surprised that those are my easy comfort foods. None of this would please Michelle Obama, I know it isn’t healthy. So I balance it all with lots of fruit and vegetables, a tiny bit of protein (Yuck) and drink too much OJ. These habits are sneaky though, unless I keep mine in check, they threaten to become my lifestyle and not treats I indulge in occasionally. I have another habit that I fight with, think I have beaten, only to find it sneaking up on me at the most unexpected times. I know this habit is not pleasing to God. Well, I don’t Michelle would like it either but God is the one who concerns me here. I am talking about shame.
Like the little jar of candies I have on my desk, I often reach for shame without realizing it. I allow stigma to enter my soul without even the sweet taste of chocolate to ease the way. Reading an old message, wondering if a current one is aimed at me, humiliation sliding down my throat while my skin grows cold and my cheeks begin to flush. Shame is that sick feeling of too much food, knowing it was just too much food. The cold bathroom floor brings the only relief, hidden away, accepting punishment that can never really flush away my stains. Tears, angry floods that never drown my accusers, leave salt trails for soul detectives to follow, will they ever find me?
Then I remember that I choose what enters my body. I do actually love carrots and zucchini and mushrooms. I so love pesto and peppers and fresh peas out of the garden. I don’t have to accept the slurs and sideways glances and dis-grace, I can say no thank you and move away from the Shamers. Like a salad bar with all the best toppings, safe places feed my soul and remind me I am a child of God who has already washed away my sins, He doesn’t need my salty tears to do so. God doesn’t remember who I was, what I have done, He knows who I am. God sends soul detectives to follow the salt trails and whisper to me, “Rise up, child.”
The scars throb sometimes, ache with the memories of all the times I lost my job again, lost my hope again, lost my identity again, because of Shamers. Today is a throbbing day, too much delving into the past, tracing wounds that seek to choke out my soul. How to deal with the pain? Rush to the candy jar? I remember the boo-boo bags we got for Plum when he was just a tiny babe, rice inside soft cloth that can be stored in the freezer and gently applied to any hurts. These bags mold to his legs, his ankles, around his hands. He is big enough to seek out the boo-boo bags himself now, he knows how to stop the hurt himself. Today I will seek out my own healing bags of grace, those who dispel the ghosts of shamers-past and bring cool refreshing mercy. Today I will go to the salad bar of Jesus who offers redemption and a way back from the bathroom floor. Today I will enjoy some pesto and perspective, remember who I am: a child of God who has plans for me. I think that would please Michelle Obama as well.