Last Saturday I spoke to several groups of inner city women on the subject of forgiveness. Days before the event, I began spending time in prayer asking God to push me out of the way so His words could be heard. I thanked Him for such a great opportunity given to me.
When Saturday came, I was pleased to see the groups of ladies signed up for our session were small enough to allow the women to feel safe in sharing their stories. We visited subjects from drug abuse to children in prison. Our conversations went from dealing with abusers to moving on from self-loathing. All subjects were cloaked in the purpose of forgiveness.
Before each session, I begged God not to let me embarrass myself or bring shame to Him. And each session ended with women expressing gratitude for a God who loved them completely and modeled how to forgive appropriately. At the end, I was pleased with the day’s outcome. Returning home, I basked in the experience of watching God at work. It was then, that I realized I had worn my top inside out. Tags, frayed edges, and loose threads—all danced on the outside of my shirt showing what I prefer to keep to private.
I smiled to myself…
Isn’t that what we do in our lives? We want people to see the finished product—all nice and tidy. But for all practical purposes, we’re frayed at the edges and look like we’re loosely pulled together. We all need forgiveness—to ask for as well as offer.
That night my husband and I went out to dinner. I was honored and humbled to wear my shirt as it was—inside out. The ugliness reminded me that no matter how you look on the outside, beauty comes with a personal relationship with Christ.