For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve. James 5:16 (CEB)
The musical Heathers (based on the 80 cult fav movie of the same name) is a black comedy. In the tradition other musicals that lean toward the offensive (Book of Mormon, Avenue Q), there are great truths to be found in the parodies and satires.
In this number (sung at the funeral of a girl whose murder was staged to look like a suicide–fun, right?), the call is to shine a light on “all your deepest fears” and to “show your ugly parts.” In this seemingly inappropriate funeral song, there is just the right message for those left behind.
The call to let go of your shame by sharing it. Shame revealed is the beginning of shame healed. The guilt, regret and anxiety that we don’t share, that we don’t admit (not even to ourselves) grows into that “hot ball of shame” and keeps us from living the life God calls us to live. It is cathatric and healing and freeing to shine a light on that shame. To let it out. To tell the truth. And so often when our hidden shame does see the light of day, we discover it’s not nearly as awful as we thought it was. And even more often, we discover that we are not the only ones harboring the same pain.
And of course, the irony of all of this is that, as Christians, we know that God already sees all of our ugly parts and knows all of our hidden shame…and loves us any way. Our goal is to get to where we can love ourselves, too.