Shame. Glad. Fear. Sad.
After sitting through two days of board meetings with Hawaiian Island Ministries (http://himonline.org/) I jumped at the chance to drive Larry to the airport. Back in my mid-twenties when I was Dennis Rainey’s assistant at FamilyLife, I always volunteered to do the airport run for the benefit of 30 minutes in the car with a godly older man flying into Little Rock to see Dennis.
Larry sits on eight non-profit boards; ministries and churches you've heard of. Few reading this would know his name yet most reading this have been influenced by his life – they just don’t know it. He’s one of those guys who when he starts to talk, everyone stops to listen.
As we neared the drop-off for departing passengers, Larry said to me, “Jeff I so enjoyed watching you engage and light up in these meetings. You have a very unique visionary gift of seeing around the corner and being able to articulate what you see.”
I used to believe this about myself (that God made me this way) but have been wandering through a season of life where I’ve not trusted my ability to see past my own nose. I felt shame when Larry affirmed me this way . . . immediately starting an imaginary conversation in my brain trying to talk Larry, and myself, out of what he had just said.
But I also felt GLAD. Glad because I knew that what Larry said was true. When God makes a pot (even a clay pot with cracks and holes in it), or gives something to someone to feed and benefit others (even if only a few fishes and a few loaves of bread), how does it in any way honor Him for us to be ashamed of being who He made us to be? How does it honor God when we run from ourselves and and thus argue with Him?
Hiding under some wet blanket of toxic shame and false humility is more about “self” than us giving way to the powerless free fall that sees, honors, surrenders, and lives . . . and is therefore liberated to see others, honor others, submit to others, and offer life to others.