Even the word makes us cringe!
It diminishes us,
Turns us inward,
Ready to run,
Ready to hide,
Ready to turn away from the light.
That sinking feeling inside,
It’s a heavy cloak – shame,
But it’s not God-given!
Maker and keeper,
The One whose love fills us with wonder,
We bow before you,
But we long to run,
We look at ourselves,
At our messy lives,
At the ways in which we let you down,
At what we think of as failure,
And we cringe and shy away from you,
Our heads bow in shame, our shoulders droop in defeat,
You meet us here,
Arms wide open,
Forgiving and loving,
And instead of rebuking us,
You whisper our name,
Tenderly putting your finger beneath our chin,
And lifting, so that our gaze meets yours…
You take off that old dirty cloak of shame, and you cloak us in your grace, your mercy,
Because you love us,
Not because of who we are,
But because of who you are!
What love, what mercy, what grace!
8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ 10 He said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ 11 He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ 12 The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.’ 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent tricked me, and I ate.’ 14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
‘Because you have done this,
cursed are you among all animals
and among all wild creatures;
upon your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.’