Conversion and Shame: Stone Crossings

She says she met Jesus over a white bread sandwich. Salvation all wrapped up in peanut butter and Fluffernutter and I wonder if tasted different for the meeting. If the bread melted on her tongue and the sweet nutty flavors became like honey in her mouth.
In the first two chapters of her book Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places, L.L. Barkat talks about Conversion and Shame and she has me wondering how knowing Christ has changed my life.
What does it really mean when I accept His body into mine and we become one? When His blood swirls into mine and beats through this heart how am I changed?
Dictionary.com tells me that the word conversion means to change in character, form, or function. Or a change of attitude, emotion, or viewpoint from one of indifference, disbelief, or antagonism to one of acceptance, faith, or enthusiastic support, esp. such a change in a person’s religion.
I remember the day I was baptized. I was 27 years old and out to here pregnant with my first child. I had known Jesus all my life but shame had kept me from committing to Him. Fear kept me from saying Yes to the Bridegroom and living happily ever after.
I thought I wasn’t good enough.
What aspects of the Christian story might seem like a fairy tale?
L.L. Barkat asks that question after sharing the tale of her own beginnings. How, after sinking teeth into that white bread sandwich, hard things came.
The first two chapters are lovely, but sad, I tell her, after re-reading. It’s been a while since I visited this story. I see parts of mine in it.
Well, there has been something of a happy ending, she says.
And I smile because, yes, she is a happy ending. And even though her story is still being written, those dark parts in her beginning seem to have made her strong.
I used to think the same about me. I thought adversity had toughened my skin…the way a tree does when it is wounded.
That’s the way a tree heals after an injury—like skin. After trauma, the tree closes itself up around the wound, compartmentalizes the damaged area–almost like a scab. Knots form on the grainy surface where the wound was—scars. By redirecting the cell growth of the bark around the injury—and successfully covering the abrasion, the tree is able to continue providing needed nutrients above and below the site of insult.
Trouble is, the wound leaves the tree susceptible to disease, insects, and decay.  
I’m glad God delights to make things right, to cover our shame so we can stop trying to cover it ourselves. (L.L. Barkat, Stone Crossings)
When I read these words, I put the book down. I walk over to the window. The night is luminescent—white below, white above…starlight has fallen into snow. I rub my hands over the gnarly bumps on my heart…feel the knotty scars.
Is this the difference? Is this what you live inside of me to do, Jesus?
I feel the swirling, flow of Spirit. Healing. Healing. Not covering the wounds, but healing.
And I know that—for me–conversion is a journey.

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the encouragement. It is a journey indeed. I often feel very bi-polar in my relationship with God in Christ. The journey continues though and thank God he is not bi-polar!

  2. says

    I am reading her book now. As I read I think of how shame exposes us no matter how we try to hide it. But God’s love, his crimson flow, it covers and more it takes the shame away. His righteousness in exchange for our messiness. Whether it is our own sin or sins committed against us. (2 Cor. 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”)

  3. says

    when he says work out your salvation daily…this is what i think it means…there are few miraculous conversions but most the repent, the turning is slow and i find it takes root all the more…

  4. says

    adversity is a great tenderizer.

    the tree that has withstood the most stands regal in its tenderness and she, in all her overcoming, instructs us that buffeting produces life and glorifies the One Who gives life. for then she becomes a place of abiding, of shelter, of shade, of nourishment and of beauty.

  5. says

    Conversion is a journey. That it is. And it delights me to know that now we are walking alongside each other on that very journey.

    A little tea, my friend, before we carry on? 🙂

    (Lol, the captcha verification word is “bless.”) Girl, you DO bless me. 🙂

  6. says

    Beautiful….I needed to come here, today. I must admit I almost didn’t make it. Now I know why GOD kept urging! Bless you for continually being HIS vessel in my life.
    Hugs,
    andrea

  7. says

    I believe it is a life-long journey for all of us. I would have despaired long ago if I didn’t.
    He heals, restores and renews us. I think He brings life to the places in us we thought has long since died.
    You are a wonder Laura. You always, always call me higher.

  8. says

    starlight has fallen into snow

    what a wonderful post

    sometimes it is like a walk down a lovely lane and then … at others a tight rope balancing act. i keep thinking that i will find my “place” but it is always one step ahead of me 🙂

  9. says

    I’m so glad I stopped by here today. All of the hurts and mistakes I’ve made over the years have left scars, indeed. And those old scars glare at me sometimes and say, “Have you really changed? If you were really God’s child you wouldn’t have done this or gone there or hurt that person” But then I have to remember that Satan would like nothing better than for me to relive my mistakes over and over and, therefore, lose my joy. The scars are there for a reason……so that I am always reminded to NEVER ever go back there again. I cling ever closer to the One who bore stripes for me.

  10. says

    So amazing…healing instead of covering…as we walk out this conversion He reveals those hidden wounds and in freedom we find ourselves able to receive more and more what was our gift from Him on that glorious first moment when conversion started. I think this covering our shame is the biggest hurtle to truly walking out Love. When we allow the coverings we have come up with to be gently removed by Love we know that healing and then…oh my, how Love can truly flow through us to shine on others.

  11. says

    Oh, Laura. What a beautiful reflection. I’m so glad you are on this forever-changing, forever-healing journey with me. I’m going to link this post to mine of last Tuesday on chapter 3.

  12. says

    Conversion as a journey, indeed! To hold it “all” on the front side of salvation would leave most of us uninterested in the rest of it. Through and through, that’s what the Apostle Paul writes. That kind of gradual perfection gives me permission to sink my teeth into it, as we go (me and the Holy Spirit) and along the way.

    As to a sad first few chapters, mine seem to have arrived late in life as opposed to my earlier ones. Yet the grace of God grips us both, keeps us, holds us, and moves us closer to home with every passing day. Healing grace is a beautiful gift… I suppose I’ll spend the rest of my days unpacking its mystery, receiving its ministry.

    Have a blessed week, sister.

    peace~elaine

  13. says

    Adversity toughened my skin to survive the weather unprotected…and then Christ found me….conversion…protection…and I was able to melt away the calloused rough exterior and trust that Jesus is with me on the journey!

    Very thought provoking! Thanks.

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