Monday, February 08, 2016
Everybody Knows Your Name: Two Recent Books on Shame
When someone mails you a book about shame, you get to thinking. When two someones send you two different books on shame, you get a little self-conscious. When one of those two someones sends you two copies of the same book on shame, maybe God is trying to tell you something. The Soul of Shame by Curt Thompson and Overcomer: Breaking Down the Walls of Shame and Rebuilding Your Soul by Aubrey Sampson. As a book editor, I had made bids to publish both of them when they were still just proposals--each a gestating idea in the mind of the author. Aubrey's book went to a different publisher; I managed to sign a contract with Curt, but I went to a different publisher before he finished writing. So while I was familiar with both projects, each when finished was a new book to me, a printed and bound truth bomb right there on my doorstep. Next Door As It Is in Heaven.) The cure for shame, it turns out, closely resembles the poison. We fear being found out, being known for what we've done, and what we've failed to do. But the gospel, alluded to by Mavis, celebrated by Curt and Aubrey (and Lance and Brad), is the good news that a God who knows us inside and out has taken all our shame upon himself, and has written our name in the book of life. We will never be forgotten; we will never be alone. We will know fully, even as we are fully known.