One can come to think themselves quite adept at hiding dirty black spots that mar the appearance of their character. Layers of lies strategically placed with cunning, or shame, to ensure none of these ugly spots peek out. Cloaked safely beneath the thick robes and skirts of deceit, the tar-like blackness slowly spreads and oozes onto clean virtue, smothering it in the sticky mess.
Over time, as the blackness grows, each layer becomes heavier with all the muck it absorbs. The filthy spots begin to seep through, a little here… a little there. Quick, cover it! Throw on another pair of lies! The fear that one’s family and friends discover them drowning in a self-made pit of tar, flailing clumsily in ridiculously weighty costume, grows to be consuming. Exhaustion takes hold.
There are but two options that emerge. Add more layers in vain attempt to conceal the darkness beneath, eventually drowning in deception, or, step out of the robes and reveal the oozing mess so that it can be washed away. Though simple it may sound, the stripping of this gory gown can prove painful. Shame and guilt threaten to grip the messy ensemble in place.
It becomes a courageous feat to trust that the one washing away the ugliness will not turn away in disgust. But, with a warm cloth of unconditional love, all the thick grime and each spot that blemishes the soul is tenderly wiped away and light fresh attire is presented. The feeling becomes like that of floating in comparison to the mountain range worth of tar being carried before.
The battle does not end there. Black spots threaten to stick all the time. As humans, we misstep and tend to trip in the mud on occasion. Be diligent in letting that grime be washed away. Be open. The discouraging part is that after the exhausting toil of hiding and covering up, and then the agony of revealing all the ugliness and asking for forgiveness, it is now in this burden-free walk, in an effort of cleanliness without cloaks and robes, that others smudge black spots on you. Spots that mimic what at one time would have been an accurate representation of the character blemishing filth, now, though false, are served as fodder for the herds starving for gossip. Smearing the untruths further and further as the herd clambers about for any speck on which to feed.
Pushed around in this ravenous fray, it is easy to forget that the old muck is gone and washed away. Like phantom pains from an amputated limb, this slop being thrown summons feelings from the past. A past that has been severed from this new walk, forgiven and forgotten by the one hurt most. If all is forgiven, who am I to dwell in the stirred-up memory of suffocation in a dark lonely void? With a humble heart, I must simply brush the mud being slung off my new gown of grace. Grace gowns are made with Teflon.
The truth will set you free and, if the care instructions are closely followed, that gown will remain unstained for life.