Love IS a one-way street

Disgrace is the opposite of grace. Disgrace destroys, causes pain, deforms, and wounds. It alienates and isolates. Disgrace makes you feel worthless, rejected, unwanted, and repulsive...Disgrace silences and shuns. Your suffering of disgrace is only increased when others force your silence. The refusal of others to speak about your assault and listen to victims tell the truth is the refusal to offer grace and healing. ~from Rid of My Disgrace by Justin & Lindsey Holcomb

Disgrace is what robs you of joy, of hope, of identity.


It robs you of the eyes to see the sunset He sends every evening.


You can't be the child in the starlet sunglasses on the gravel driveway in the false spring. Disgrace tells you you have nothing to smile about.


Disgrace tells you that the things you thought you were good at...well maybe you never were that good at them. You certainly aren't now. It focuses all of it, all your energy, back inside, looking at that rotting pit that you hide inside, the sins and the sorrows and mistakes and selfishness.


And that is exactly where Satan wants you to be.
Looking at that pit and thinking there is nothing good that will ever come out of that pit, certainly nothing that could ever bring glory to God.

Except that...
Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight. (Proverbs 26:2)
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice. (Proverbs 29:25-26)
This one-way love thing; in two paragraphs, the authors of Rid of My Disgrace tore down some huge misconceptions I have had my whole life. I have never understood love, the true kind of love anyway. I crave it, but I don't comprehend it. Serious doubt creeps in every time I try to grapple with the juxtaposition of certain parts of God's character: "justice" and "mercy" don't seem to fit well together, nor do "jealous" and "deliverer". I understand, in the logical brain part of me, that Jesus paid it all, so the sentence leveled on me by my sin has been satisfied. 

But when the curses that echo inside my own head resonate with what someone else is leveling on me, someone else's judgment of me, it is hard to keep that one fact in mind.

I mull it over, the disgrace concept. One-way violence. Is that what Christ experienced when God's wrath was poured out on him on the cross? Is that what he cried tears of blood for that night in Gethsemane? How many times in life are we given disgrace - one-way violence - instead of grace - one-way love? Remember being in junior high, high school, college? Do you remember disgrace? Do you remember "one way violence" in your past? When we suffer, when bad things happen beyond our control, that's one-way violence. Whatever the source.

Grace. That might take a lifetime to sink in. But in those dark places, it's our only option. One-way love. I've got nothing left to give, I'm totally at a loss. I have to take it, this one-way love. Whether or not I take it, He's still giving it. That's what makes it one-way love.
Grace is love that seeks you out even if you have nothing to give in return. Grace is being loved when you are or feel unlovable. Grace has the power to turn despair into hope. Grace listens, lifts up, cures, transforms, and heals. To your sense of disgrace, God restores, heals, and re-creates through grace. A good short definition of grace is "one-way love". This is the opposite of your experience of assault, which was "one-way violence". To your experience of one-way violence, God brings one-way love. The contrast between the two is staggering. One-way love does not avoid you, but comes near, not because of personal merit but because of your need. It is the lasting transformation that takes place in human experience. One-way love is the change agent you need for the pain you are experiencing.

Jeremiah 17:8: “He shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” That was it! There was an unseen Source of secret nourishment that is needed by all of us. The cause of the drying up of life’s joys is incidental. When they dry up — is there, can we find, a secret Source of nourishment that the deadly drought cannot reach?…Is it possible for a Christian to put forth green leaves when all he enjoys in this life is drying up around him? ~from Green Leaf in Drought