Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Show Someone Your Dirty Laundry

... confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. - James 5:16

We don't have to call it "confessing our sins". We can call it venting or therapy or confiding in each other. It all means the same thing.

In the Lutheran church we speak a confession together that usually sounds something like this: "Forgive us for the times we've sinned in thought word and deed. Forgive us for not loving others as ourselves." I think this is suitable for the easier seasons of journeying, and confessing this at church services helps keep us humble and aware of our shortcomings.

But when we're depressed or ashamed and life seems to be falling apart, we need to get more specific when we confess. We need to find a friend to confide in. Church offers a pastor for this, but if you don't feel comfortable with him it's totally okay to find someone else.

You can put your feelers out to test whether or not someone could be your confidante. Grab some of your dirty laundry, something small like one of your stinky socks. It could be that time you told your Uncle Martin to fuck off. Every time you remember it, you feel guilty because your Mama taught you never to swear and you know you were super rude to him when all he was doing was trying to offer you daffodils.

How does the person respond to your pieces of dirty laundry? Does she wag her finger and tell you you're not allowed to do those terrible things? Or does she smile and say something like "Aw, it's okay. Do you wanna hang out on Saturday?"

If you find the person who still wants to spend time with you after you show her many pieces of your dirty laundry, it means she's someone who walks in the way of forgiveness and she's someone who truly cares. It means you can trust her and show her more of your dirty laundry. Even your poop-stained underwear.

Confessing sins is what I like to call The Ugly Beautiful. It's where healing happens. Where confidence grows. We've gotta reach for those stinky socks and lay 'em out into the light.

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