I was reversing out from my parking spot.
We all know how precious those things have become in our world of 7 billion people.
I reversed out onto the middle of an empty road. As I did I noticed a car was already waiting for my parking spot.
Just as I put my car into drive and began inching forward, the waiting car drove in front of me and pulled into the spot.
Slamming on my brakes, I was shocked.
As the driver pulled in, a jogger ran past them and yelled “You d____!” Shaking her fist and pointing at the driver as she did so.
Stunned at the 1,2,3 of unexpected events. I continued my turn of the steering wheel, clearing the middle of the road and drove off.
Fear and shaming had just run that moment. If you ever doubt that much of life isn’t a emotional discourse, consider this event.
Happens more than we like to admit. Our parking lots have become shaming fields. Our cars weapons. And driving an experience in dehumanisation.
When did we ever get the idea that shame can drive the kind of change we all really want in our society?
Shaming others never has produced change that is positive, because shame attacks our identity.
When we confuse behaviour with identity we are on dangerous grounds.
And this was the power of Jesus. He never lost sight of who we are despite our vulnerability and our behaviour.
He knew to be human is to be vulnerable. He valued vulnerability not shamed it.