When… You Are Ashamed
“The LORD said to Joshua, ‘Today I have rolled from you the disgrace of Egypt.’ And so that place was called Gilgal to this day.” Joshua 5:9
Let’s talk about “DIS-GRACE”. The dictionary calls it “humiliation.” (Merriam-Webster) In eastern culture the phrase is probably “losing face.” That is, like having your reputation hung around your neck like a sign; “loser,” “that guy,” “you know her, she’s the woman who…” Dis-grace is a dark cloud over us no matter where we are even when the sun is shining everywhere else. No one wants to be embarrassed in public or in front of their peers. No one. It is shameful.
Israel’s dis-grace was their time spent in Egypt as slaves. They were to be pitied. They were so weak they couldn’t maintain their own independence. They had fallen into a trap out of which they could not raise themselves. They were “nobodies,” “invisible,” “non-persons.”
I wonder if the fear of DIS-GRACE is what keeps people in denial about their financial difficulties, opioid addictions, struggles with depression and the like. I wonder if the fear of embarrassment in public is what keeps many of us from asking for help.
At a place on the edge of the Judean wilderness God rolled back the stone which held the people in the tomb of shame and dis-grace. The word Gilgal means “round stone” or “rolling stone.”
Wouldn’t you say God is very good at rolling stones back? God is good at setting people free, undoing their chains, changing their names. God is best when it comes to changing the labels others have hung on us, or the ones we have hung on ourselves. God is best as giving us the freedom of a new future.
Gilgal. A Rolling Stone gathers no shame!