Shame

poem.crop

Yesterday I did something that made me feel so ashamed. Far too ashamed to give any details here (and I don’t want to be tempted to “explain it away”). In the immediate aftermath I was full of disgust at myself. Of course I have done things like this before. Of course I will do things like this again. A sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Even the word “sin” seems to pretty it up — encapsulate and tidy away the revulsion I feel.

[I should say, nobody was hurt or even inconvenienced by what I did. Probably (hopefully!) nobody even noticed.]

In bed at night I found this poem.

Quite shocking to read by chance something that is so close to how I feel.

The first two verses felt very true, as I ruefully remembered the morning. How much I’d like to forget what I’d done, or wall off temptation far away.

When I read “O my saviour, who my refuge art”, I suddenly thought of taking these things I’d done — that day, still fresh and close in my memory — and showing them to Jesus. That felt horrible, and I felt even more ashamed.

But the lines after that didn’t feel quite right. I don’t really want Jesus to be a wall inside me. I want him to be a kind of better temptation. I want to learn to turn to him instead of following my baser urges.

I don’t want to be divided from my sin — so my sin can carry on doing its own thing without troubling me? Isn’t that worse?

I have to own my sin, own these horrid things I do. I have to find a way to give them up somehow to God or Jesus. What a weird kind of offering. I don’t know what to do with it.

I forgot to pray that night. I forgot to ask for forgiveness. Will try to remember tonight.

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