Freedom!

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“Often times we bury things alive when we need to bury them dead.” Poignant words by speaker and loving advocate Jerry Praetzel. “Plumb Line” week was upon us, and the stories we heard prior combined with our own notions produced in us expectant, apprehensive hearts. As the Holy Spirit took the reigns, an excavation of our hearts (it hurts so good) uncovered the inmost areas of our sin and shame—exposed lay all we “buried alive.” It was then our decision to come out of hiding—to answer God’s call to Adam, “Where are you?” for ourselves, and to experience the transformative reality of James 5:16, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” So one by one, as steadfastness overwhelmed haranguing hesitancies—a mustard seed tip of the scale— each of us proclaimed our deepest areas of shame to one other, and ultimately reclaimed the drafty, dustiest spaces of our hearts where the plumb line had shifted away from truth and love. Words spoken in Ephesians 5 became each of our realities, “The things which are done in secret are things that people are ashamed even to speak of; but anything exposed by the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated turns into light.” Though our forgiveness fixed and though nothing need be added to the cross, the act of an intimate yet public confession, manifested illumination—darkness was literally redefined by light and eternal shifts in the spiritual realm occurred. Our personal plumb line shifted away from deceit towards truth, and thus, our hearts and minds harmonized with reality; we had each revealed our less-than-perfect selves only to move closer to our true identity. By the close of the week the proof was in the pudding of public proclamation: the momentary discomfort of uncovered shame was eclipsed by the redeemed covering of grace and freedom.