Crumbs in the Cutlery Drawer

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Before getting down to business during a retreat planning meeting, a few of the team began to converse about the age-old problem of crumbs in the cutlery drawer. What do you suppose accompanied this conversation? Who would have guessed that shame could be closely associated to this very substantial problem of crumbs in our cutlery drawers?

I looked up from what I was focused on, to chime in to the conversation, because just the day before I had opened my cutlery drawer and saw some crumbs. My first thought was, ‘I need to clean this drawer so that if guests come over, they will not be grossed out by the crumbs in the cutlery drawer!’

Wow, that thought was not rooted in a desire to bless my guests, but to shield me from feeling shame. So what did I do? I was tired, and would have preferred to sit down to rest after a long day. But no, the fear of shame spurred me into action. Soon enough, I had the vacuum in hand, busily cleaning not only my cutlery drawer, but others too.

Figuratively speaking, how many of us have crumbs in our cutlery drawer? And how many of us have been embarrassed by the crumbs in our cutlery drawers? We have shame ruling us and causing us to work, and to strive for perfection in regards to the smallest of issues. We are afraid to be seen as less than perfect. We do not want to appear as though we are deficient in any way.

Although we all laughed at the conversation about the crumbs in the drawer, it gives us a picture into a very deep-rooted problem in our lives. Shame says, “If I am the problem, I can be the solution.” We think we can solve our shame issue apart from God, like Adam and Eve tried to find their own solution for their shame by sewing themselves fig leaves. We do not let God’s sufficiency be the solution for our shame because our pride thinks we have to solve it, and solve it quickly before anyone sees who we really are. It takes a lot of humility to stand in our weakness, exposed as less than perfect, allowing God to be our sufficiency and our strength.

Next time you see the crumbs in your cutlery drawer, thank God for His provision to remove your shame, His sufficiency that is more than enough to cover your deficiency, and feel free to leave the vacuum in the closet. Put your feet up and rest in the knowledge of His all encompassing love for you.

Gretchen TeerlingComment