In its first form it led to carefully constructed fig leaves. In its earliest stages it looks like a toddler hiding in the corner before mom finds the crayola mural. In adulthood it looks like hiding behind makeup and hiding our past; it is turning down invitations for not looking the part, fitting the bill or owning the items. For some of us it’s a cold affront toward others in hopes they can’t see through to all that isn’t lovely. It is shame. As in all cases above, the shame we feel is quickly followed by the coping mechanisms we employ. And the things we think will protect us become the barriers from all hope of our healing. There are few things that make us more impenetrable to the Spirit than our painstakingly put together coverings of shame. Shame is the enemy’s strategy to keep us hiding our messes God has actually already cleaned up. This Pentecost let us become more wholly open to the Spirit by naming our shame and all the ways we try to cover it. The weight of those things we’ve done and the things done to us was once nailed on a cross, never meant for us to tow. Living in that new reality transforms our places of shame from holes where we once hid launching points for praise. Contrary to shame, praise for the places He has healed and redeemed makes us more permeable to the Spirit’s presence and grows our capacity in which He can dwell. Commit to naming your masks and the methods you use to cope with shame. Ask the Spirit to enable you to understand more fully and believe more deeply in the purifying forgiveness of Jesus.