Shameless

By February 14, 2015Christianity

So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him. Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. [1]

She is the scourge of society. Because of her flow of blood, the priests and religious people of this small town considered this woman unclean. For twelve years she has not been allowed to go to church, attend family reunions, or live in a house with those considered kosher and clean. She is ostracized from all human contact. If she were to walk into a marketplace, attend a wedding, or walk in a crowd, people would scream out “unclean,” and run from her. Her condition is shameful and her life one of loneliness and fear.

Sometimes God puts us through shame to make us desperate for him.

She confronts her shame and fear and boldly, if not even brashly, runs to Jesus for healing. She breaks out of her societal prison and confronts Jesus with her passionate desire to be set free from the bondage of her shame.

Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, has spent the past ten years studying shame. In her groundbreaking talk on Vulnerability, https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability, she became an overnight sensation on YouTube with over 16 million views. With thousands of case studies over a decade of ground breaking research, Ms. Brown discovered that the only way we overcome the power of shame in our lives was through a wholehearted commitment to vulnerability.

Ms. Brown would define shame as “the fear of disconnection,” and she would say all of us have it, and if we don’t think we have it, the more we have it. Shame is universal.

But what separates those who get healed of their shame and those who don’t? She remarks that only “wholehearted people” get set free from the power of shame. Wholehearted people are those who have the courage to be imperfect. They have the courage to confront their shame with authenticity and vulnerability. “They let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they are.” They quit worrying about what everyone thinks they are to embrace the person God made them to be.

Jesus heals this woman with a blood flow of twelve years through her faith to boldly confront her shame, not caring what anyone else thought of her. She was wholehearted. May we be unashamed today, run to Jesus, and with vulnerability, expose our shame. It’s the only way to healing.

On the Road,
Steve

[1] The New King James Version. 1982 (Mk 5:24–29). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.