Did I really do that?

scaredI don’t know what reminded me of this, but recently I remembered something from my childhood that made me shudder with embarrassment and shame. I can’t believe I did it. I can’t believe nobody stopped me. I can’t believe I didn’t suppress the memory more successfully and bury it so deep in my subconscious that it never surfaced.

It was awful. It was terrible. It makes me shudder just remembering it.

Uhhhuuurrrr [the sound a shudder makes].

Thankfully because it is only in my memory (I am not in touch with many people who would have witnessed it) it is not something in the public domain. It is a shameful secret that will remain with me forever.

What are you thinking right now? Are you keen to find out what it was? Are you speculating and trying to imagine what it might have been that was so bad? What do you think it might have been?

**insert bizarre ideas here**

We all have things we have said or thought or done that make us shudder, don’t we? There are secret places in our memory and experience-bank that we hope and pray never get out into the public arena. There are aspects of who we are that remain concealed behind a veneer of respectability and we don’t want that veneer to be stripped away.

Let me offer you a different perspective. The ‘you’ that makes you shudder, blush and that you hope nobody ever finds out about is the ‘you’ that God knows and loves. He loves us warts and all. He loves us unconditionally. I was reminded at the conference I am currently attending that there is nothing we can do to make God love us any less and there is nothing we can do to make him love us more. He loves us to the limits of love and beyond. His love is infinite.

The ‘you’ you hide because you think people would not like you if they knew you properly is the ‘you’ God loves, the ‘you’ for which Jesus died, and the ‘you’ with which his Spirit wants to work so we can be transformed into the people God created us to be. If we come to God for forgiveness and reconciliation there is nothing we have done that he cannot forgive. There is nothing about us that he will not embrace and redeem.

So, while you may not share your darker side with others, you don’t have to pretend to God. He loves you because he loves you and he loves you.

Be blessed, be a blessing.

What’s that? You were hoping I would reveal my shameful secret anyway?

What are you like?

Okay.

I was at primary school, probably aged about 9 or 10. It was the last day of term and the term ended with a sort of DIY concert where children could do something to entertain the rest of the school. That morning I had had PE and wore a white towelling T-shirt. (You have no idea where this is going yet do you?)

As I was getting changed afterwards I thought how it looked like a towelling nappy (diaper for those who speak American English). So I put my legs into the sleeves and pulled it up  so it looked like I was wearing a nappy. My friends laughed. And an idea sneaked its way into my conscious mind past any ‘sensible filter’ that I had. During the lunch hour I persuaded a female friend to join me in a little sketch we would perform in the concert about a naughty baby and his mother. I would play the baby and she would be the longsuffering mother.

Before the concert I told a teacher that we had a sketch and WITHOUT ASKING ME WHAT IT WAS the teacher added us to the running order.

We had squeaky recorder solos, screechy violin solos, a group of girls danced a routine to ‘sing a rainbow’ and then it was our turn.

I crawled onto the stage only wearing my t-shirt as a nappy and we proceeded to improvise a routine. Initially there was a lot of laughter. I put it down to my innate acting skill and comedy genius. On reflection it was probably because I was the skinniest, scrawniest kid in the school – pasty white – and would have looked ridiculous in this ‘nappy’.

The laughter slowly subsided as we improvised. But I did not notice. And while there was no script, just the concept of a naughty baby, neither had I planned a conclusion or a punch line to the routine. Children grew restless, staff probably had their heads in their hands, but I kept going with this silly improvisation. Eventually a teacher realised that it was going nowhere and somehow persuaded us to stop. The applause as we left the stage was principally the applause of the reprieved.

I can’t believe I wore a towelling t-shirt nappy in front of the whole school. I am embarrassed to think about what everyone must have thought about this improvised disaster. I shudder when I think that I did that. (To anyone who was expecting the ‘nappy’ to fall off, shame on you! If it had I would never have gone back to school!)

Thank you for allowing me to share this with you – I know it won’t go any further!

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