when shame becomes changed by meeting grace


It’s a comforting thought to know Jesus understands us completely and can see into the depths of our soul. Though we might feel shame at what He will find as His gaze scans those deep, dark layers we prefer to keep hidden from ourselves and others.

During my long weeks of obscurity, hidden away from the blogging community, resting physically, I’ve been very aware that only God really knew and understood the sheer weight of weakness, worry and weariness of mind, body and heart I was struggling with. And only He held the key to recovering deep soul peace and restoration in every way.

I was grateful to be able to work through my need for grace without an audience. I was thankful that God not only lured me gently away from busyness but also knew just when I would be well enough to slowly reenter the public arena again.

Shame becomes exponentially multiplied when our guilt is laid bare and dark deeds are made public. So I’ve always had a certain sympathy for the woman caught in the act of adultery, driven unceremoniously through the streets for all to see.

The Pharisees watch carefully, hoping to trap Jesus into acting unwisely. The crowd also hold their breath as they wait to see what the Messiah will do. He pauses, takes His time to react. And when He does it takes all by surprise, as Jesus reveals the forgiving, merciful heart of God, the way He graciously answers our shame and pain.

An unwavering light

His kind, limpid-liquid gaze brushed mine

like fine, pellucid pearls glowing

lantern-bright—a steady, unwavering

light—reading the depths of my soul


He didn’t recoil; rather, he looked

with love, compassion, deep understanding

as though he already knew everything good

bad or indifferent there was to know


And I barely lifted my head, kept my

sight glued to ground, where I had been

so carelessly thrown, used to feeling shamed

by those whose eyes scathingly sought mine


Yet this Man stooped down, wrote silently upon parched

dusty ground, spoke in surprisingly soft, gentle tones

which carried the authority of God Almighty

making cowards of others—drawing gratitude from me


The wonder of it all is that Jesus still works in human hearts like this. His forgiveness, mercy and grace are rich and free, paid for by His own spilt blood at Calvary. And it brings us up short, as we see our need to follow Christ’s example by being loving, compassionate and merciful toward others.

My friend, you and I are precious to Jesus, oh so valuable and definitely worth dying for in His eyes. Let’s reflect on the weight of glory in that thought, and on such tender compassion rendering us speechless, or issuing praise from us.

“Of course, no one believed in people more than Jesus did. He saw something in Peter worth developing, in the adulterous woman worth forgiving, and in John worth harnessing.” Max Lucado ‘God Is With You Everyday’

21 thoughts on “when shame becomes changed by meeting grace

  1. Dear Joy,
    I am so glad to see you back here sharing your beautiful words again! This thought is so weighty: “Shame becomes exponentially multiplied when our guilt is laid bare and dark deeds are made public,” because that’s exactly what the world and the enemy want to see happen to us. What a Wonderful, Merciful Savior we have, Who lifts us out of that shame and into His heart of compassion! Thank you for sharing your precious poetry here with us all! You are in my prayers as the Lord continues to renew your strength! Love and Hugs to you, my friend! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, I was surprised as I’d expected to have to wait a bit longer, but I made the most of a window of opportunity when available words and reliable internet access actually coincided! It is mercy and grace to be back in this writing space, though I still need to take it slow and not go full pelt into anything. Lifting expectations from ourselves can be so challenging, especially when guilt and shame try to tempt us into doing more than we are capable of. Thank you so much for your prayers! They are greatly appreciated as I dip my toes into blogging again. Love, hugs and prayers returned to you, sweet friend! xoxo

  2. Thank you for sharing from your vulnerable places the sweetness of mercy and how God touches those places! Bless you dear Joy!

    • Jenneth, those vulnerable places are where shame exists. They are also where God sets us free to fly again, to be recipients and channels of His grace. I’m awed and humbled by God’s mercy and grace, especially as I trust for further inspiration to come! I hope to stop by your site, and many others I’ve been missing from for a long time, once God equips me not only to write but to encourage others as well. Bless you, dear friend. xo ❤

    • Hello Laurie, what a lovely welcome you have given me! I’m still settling in, putting the coffee on, getting the cakes ready to welcome my visitors back. It’s wonderful to see you here, sweet friend! What will you have? Virtual, calorie-free cake, coffee, tea or fruit juice are your for the asking. Your words are, as always, full of grace and greatly encouraging. Thank you for your kind prayers and emails, which are deeply appreciated. I hope to catch up with belated correspondence and do some blog visiting soon, God willing. xoxo

  3. “He didn’t recoil; rather, he looked
    with love, compassion, deep understanding…”
    And He always does this for us. He takes our shame and gives us peace. He loves us so much.

    Many blessings to you, dear Joy! So glad you are writing here again.

    Love and hugs, xo

    • “He takes our shame and gives us peace. He loves us so much.” Amen, my friend! It’s so good to see you here again, Gayl. Bless you for reading and commenting. I hope this post will be the start of many more to come, but I am very reliant on God for what to write next and when to put it out. Baby steps…. xox 🙂 ❤

    • Dear June, my heart is happy to see you here, sweet friend! I’m also grateful to be able to write again on the blogs after a long absence. Although I’m not pressuring myself to post as often as I used to. It’s nice to be missed here and it’s been good to keep in touch via my Facebook pages, where I tend to share shorter reflective thoughts. I hope before long I will have energy enough to stop by your blog. Visiting my writing friends’ sites is a pleasure I have missed. Bless you for being here. 😊💜

  4. Dearest Joy, I am to the point where, truly, this is all that matters. The Love, the Mercy, the Grace; His kind gaze. It is what I live for. I am grateful for your gentle perspective; born of much suffering, I know, and so all the more beautiful. Love and prayers for you. ❤

    • Dearest Cheryl Anne, you are right. This is all that really matters in the end: “The Love, the Mercy, the Grace; His kind gaze.” It makes life worth living, especially when our lives feel very challenging at times. It’s such a blessing to see you sharing your perceptive thoughts here again, sweet friend! I truly appreciate your prayers, and keep you in mine. Sending love and hugs to you. ❤

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