I also have new housemates! There are 3 men and 3 other women, totaling our house to 7 people! So far, we are having a blast together. We are naturally hanging out together, throwing spontaneous dance parties and sing-a-longs, exploring the city together, and taking turns each week cooking dinner for the house. I am eager to continue to laugh, love, and learn from them.
This past week at the needs-based outreach Program of Hope, where I served my first YAV year, I was spontaneously asked to preach the short sermonette before opening the stations. I talked about the Prodigal Son, shame, and the love of God. Vulnerability and shame researcher Brene Brown has profoundly impacted my life and my perspective. Here is a snippet:
What I love about the Prodigal Son story is that the father's love is louder than the son's shame. This is a lesson that is really hard for me remember, but it's comforting to be able to bring my shame and fear to the cross, especially through prayer. This song is a prayer when I am soaked in shame and can't see a way out. It's called "Give Me Love" by Ed Sheeran.
May you know that God's affection for you is stronger than your shame, that through the work of the Spirit your shame will be melted down to experience empathy and compassion to its fullness.