An Antidote to Shame
One doesn’t usually think of being broken as a powerful state. Author and therapist Dan Allender says that “brokenness is an antidote to shame.” An antidote is very powerful indeed as it is defined as ‘anything that counteracts or relieves a harmful or unwanted condition.’ I know of few conditions more harmful or unwanted than shame. In the case of shame, brokenness carries great power.
What exactly is brokenness? What does it look like? What does it feel like? I found myself face down on the floor unable to move or speak. My heart felt as though it weighed two tons, full of shame and the horror of what I had done. My eyes dared not look at the One who loved me and who had the power to lift me up, out of the heap of bones that lay on the floor.
Gratefully, Christ looks past our sin and shame to our brokenness. He saw the way of lies and deceit I walked. But then He looked past that path to the broken mourning and wailing of my heavy heart. He heard my brokenness even when I couldn’t utter a word. He saw a humble heart that knew it was no longer worthy of His love. He then did what He always does. He poured Grace.
When we are broken, when we have these gaping cracks in our souls; this Grace He pours has greater access to all the darkness, filth and pain. So while you may think that those huge chasms are something to cover and close, these are the gaps where Grace finds its way in.
As Grace seeps into every fracture in our souls, we begin to gain strength. Not strength of the usual kind. This is the strength found only through the power of brokenness. It is not strength that can hoist the world on its shoulders, but strength that can lift my broken soul from the soil and give it the courage to move and to speak. It is not strength that can throw stack upon stack of stones, but strength that can cast the heaviness of my heart aside. It is not the strength that adds muscle to my frame, but strength that held me in a tender embrace as I began to gaze into the eyes of the Lover of my soul.
Betrayed and Betrayer: Rescuing your marriage after the affair.
By Ben and Ann Wilson coming in 2015