What Do You Want From Me?
Have you heard the saying, “Skeletons in the closet?” Wikipedia defines it as, undisclosed fact about someone which, if revealed, would damage perceptions of the person; It evokes the idea of someone having had a human corpse concealed in their home so long that all its flesh had decomposed to the bone.
At what point in your life did you start accumulating skeletons in your closet? I had a closet of skeletons when I was younger. I learned real fast that I did not like living this way. I loved the freedom of giving it to God. Offering it up to the light. Taking the weight off. When I think back on those times, some of those skeletons held me back in relationships, in the workplace and in flourishing as God intended me. I too had the toxic self talk loop playing in my head of, “If they knew what I did they would…” insert your own actions - not be friends with me, break up with me, disown me, look at me weird all the time, divorce me, so many negative action words associated with that toxic self talk loop.
On the Noisy Narrative podcast today, a good friend and mentor shares with us her story of having an abortion 44 years ago. She tells us how that decision controlled her life in a negative way till 8 years ago. She learned to release her past action and take hold of the grace that is offered at the Cross. Before she thought her actions were not ones that Jesus died for, at least not “that” one.
Shame and guilt has kept her from sharing her story. Shame and guilt kept her from parenting out of love and not fear. She believed for so long that God’s love was punitive. She was ready for the Lord to take her two beautiful kids as a payment for her actions 44 years ago. Can you imagine living with that cloud over your head?
Don’t some of us believe that God forgives all of our sins but not always “that sin.” So many of us believe that God forgives all of the sins of others but it does not apply to us in its entirety. See for many of us “my sin” is way bigger and unforgivable than “her sin”. “My sin” seemed so big I could not imagine even saying it out loud. Over time, this morphs into shame and guilt. This keeps it in the dark. We won’t dig it up and bring it into the light.
I remember this feeling vividly. My personal shame and guilt were buried so deep that if I wanted to dig it out I would need to rent a bulldozer, whose owner would then in turn ask what I was digging up, and I would have to tell him all the details. Then he would look at me weird and tell his buddies we need more machines and then they would ask why am I doing this again...see it is just another version of the children's book, When You Give a Mouse a Cookie. So that wore me out, so it was easier to bury it and not speak of it.
In Luke 18 there is a great story of Jesus coming to Jericho and a blind man hears all the hustle and bustle and asks what is going on, someone tells him Jesus of Nazareth is coming. The blind man clearly has heard about Jesus, shouts out, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” Son of David is acknowledging Him as the Messiah. He is the one that they spoke of in the Old Testament.
Then Jesus orders the man to be brought to him. The men lead him to Jesus. Jesus can tell that man is blind. Everyone can see the man is blind. The blind man needs assistance from where he is sitting to where Jesus is standing. Don’t you think at this point in the story, Jesus is like, Your confession of me as the Messiah is enough, you are healed, now go! But He does not do this...instead He goes, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Jesus you know what I need. You know my innermost thoughts. You saw what I did yesterday. But in your magnificent love and affection for me you want me to answer the question - WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO FOR YOU?
Jesus wants the blind man to acknowledge his need for Him. Jesus is humbling himself to the blind man and pausing and taking time for this man. God is faithful and He wants us to answer the question. He wants a relationship with us. He wants a dialogue, a question and answer.
The blind man responds with a simple answer, “Lord, I want to see.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
This is what God does with us when we answer Him, when we say, we want to see you, Jesus. Jesus offers light and truth. Once we take “our sin” out of the deep dark closets or exhumed from the deepest part of the earth and present it to God, He wants to heal our blindness and make us see again.
He also wants us to know that His love is not punitive, it is pure. He does not inflict pain on us as a way of showing His love to us. He loves us conditionally and in a sacrificial way. Romans 8 reminds us that there is nothing that can separate us from His love.
We hope you enjoy listening to Kathy’s story. We hope that as you listen to her story you are able to take hold of the biblical truths that are shared during this time. Remember you are redeemed and that no skeleton in a closet it too big, scary for our God. His Son died for that sin on the cross also.