Sacred Badge of Courage


“Unless Henry found ointment soon, he feared the burden of carrying his internal wounds would be too great. With his heart continually reminding him that he was despicable, he couldn’t stop his shame from seeping out and hurting others.”

– The Red Badge of Courage (Paraphrased pp. 114)

The Sacred Badge of Courage

Thanks to a season of desperation and mentors who spoke into my life, I became aware of the stranglehold that shame had over my life. I also became aware of the freedom that’s available when I bring shame into the light. This is how shame loses its power. And so, I began a journey to do just that.

With time I can look back on a wound of shame and see instead a Sacred badge of courage when I:

  1. Keep an ongoing list of shame moments from my life. Whenever a “negative” memory from my past pops into my head (whether it’s embarrassing, humiliating, or shameful) I add it to my “Hall of Shame.”
  2. Share each moment (when I’m ready) with God in my prayer journal, with a trusted friend, or a counselor.
  3. Relive each moment through short story (in my journal or on my blog), but this time seeing myself as one who is loved unconditionally.
  4. Receive love and acceptance, allowing this healing ointment to flow over each wound of shame.


Photo Credit: Rusty Russ Flickr via Compfight cc