Permission to Embarrass

Fridays with Robynn

Recently I gave God permission to embarrass me!

I know that might sound odd and even somewhat sacrilegious. But it helped me to relax. It helped me let God be God.

Let me lay it all out for you…and you can connect the dots.

*Every Tuesday evening this summer we’ve been attending the Alpha course. Alpha is an introduction to the Christian faith. It’s a safe place where conversations happen. I love it! I love the honest interaction, the laughter, the agony that’s shared in a circle with new friends.

*We’ve been taking our neighbours: confirmed atheists, Adam and Theresa. And they’ve enjoyed it. They keep coming back. The discussions we’ve had with them have been crazy intense. It’s been revealing and riveting.

*This past Tuesday the topic was two-fold: the problem of evil and healing. According to the Alpha tradition we eat dinner together, watch a video on the topic at hand and then break into small groups to discuss what we’ve heard.  But the healing night is a little different. On this particular evening we don’t break into small groups, rather, we offer an opportunity for people to ask for prayer. You can ask prayer for anything but the assumption is that you might want prayer for healing of some kind.

*It’s amazing! God loves to heal. He’s kind and compassionate…and He loves to heal.

*But sometimes he doesn’t heal.  And I find that a little embarrassing.  And when there are those on the fringes of belief, or outside belief, it feels even more embarrassing, almost a putting God on trial. If he fails, what then?

*Tuesday I was nervous to think that Adam and Theresa might come, they might experience the awkward moment when people are asking for prayer, they might even risk asking for prayer themselves and then what if God didn’t do anything.

*As it turned out after the video Adam and Theresa asked some mutual friends, the leaders of our Alpha small group, if they would go into another room with them and discuss it! They wanted to think more about the problem of evil. They wanted to hash that out some more. It was hard to put that huge problem up against God’s longing to heal souls and bodies, hearts and wounds.

I have no idea if anyone was healed last night. But somehow it helped that I had already given God permission to embarrass me. I had let him off the hook. I said it’s ok for You to do things Your way. You are God. You can be in charge. I felt more relaxed. I felt my faith increase. Prayer is a vulnerable thing. Asking for prayer is risky.

Letting God do His thing meant I could stand back. I didn’t feel the need to explain Him away, or defend Him in any way.  God is God. He can be Weird and Wild; Awesome and at times, Awkward. But when I give Him permission to embarrass me, I’m letting Him be Himself. And it was freeing and foreign.

Maybe a little of me was quietly healed in the process…!

9 thoughts on “Permission to Embarrass

  1. Never read your blog before. My wife sent me this link. Thank you for sharing your thought (and fear and surrender) candidly.It’s a great reversal of rolls, a needed change of heart on our side. Funny how you can give up one kind of struggle and find that your courage actually increases.

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  2. Thanks for sharing about the Alpha course. My husband have helped lead Alpha for 5 years. We have had those uncertain feelings. We’ve also been thrilled to see people we love encounter Christ in the process(ourselves included!) and have their lives changed. So good to hear that that is still happening! I really enjoy your blog. I was connected to it through circuitous routes, but have friends whose kids have attended at Murree and my husband has been there to share and perform at their chapel and loved it. Thinking of families that are perhaps getting ready to send their kids back this year, with the unsettledness in the news.

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    1. Thanks for sharing about the Alpha course. My husband and I have helped lead Alpha for 5 years. We have had those uncertain feelings. We’ve also been thrilled to see people we love encounter Christ in the process(ourselves included!) and have their lives changed. So good to hear that that is still happening! I really enjoy your blog. I was connected to it through circuitous routes, but have friends whose kids have attended at Murree and my husband has been there to share and perform at their chapel and loved it. Thinking of families that are perhaps getting ready to send their kids back this year, with the unsettledness in the news.

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    2. I love Alpha! It’s been so good for me to be apart of the honest exploration of faith. I love that it keeps me on my toes. I love that I have to lean in to Jesus when it all feels awkward and risky….and when I’m tempted to be embarrassed.

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  3. Marilyn ~ I think this is important for us to learn….HE is our Defender, we do not defend Him. We love Him, we adore Him, we thank Him, we praise Him. He is GOD. He is the Almighty, the Great I AM. We worship Him but we do not defend Him. I too am learning this ~ it is okay to suffer humiliation and embarrassment for Him as we follow His example. Hard to learn. Hard for pride.

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