Christine Caine — Out Of Hiding
Well, totally, I remember at six years old I was in second grade and so we, in Australia you get a report card mid-year, which is June, and then you get the end-of-year in December, report card. So in the mid-year I had all my little grades and then the teacher had written, "Christine shows a lot of potential but she has to learn that she can't always be the leader."
And it was -- I remember looking at it and of course, I was already so damaged from the abuse, the culture, just being called derogatory names all of the time. The one place I felt good was in terms of my academics like school. The stuff that was going on at home I could avoid that. And so here's the one thing that had made me feel good about myself and that was being attacked.
So you could tell that I must have changed and internalized that because then on that same report card in December it says, "Christine has had a wonderful year. She has settled down very well."
It's like well, let's put you in a box. So the root of shame makes you feel fundamentally unworthy anyway. When you're being abused initially you think what's happening to you is wrong. But when it happens for a really long time you start thinking there is something wrong with me, that's why it's happening. So you go into hiding. I spent most of my life hiding who I was, minimizing: Don't be too much for people. Don't be too smart.
And then I got saved and praise the Lord, I got saved into a culture that affirmed women. But I minister to the broader Christian church across the globe and certainly it is not like that. And I find that often, Jesus who was the greatest liberator of women, often women can feel even more shame in churches.
And if they failed and I have so many friends who either went through a divorce or had an abortion or failed in a business venture or perhaps just something happened to them and the shame that they hide in. The one place where you should feel safe, where we should be able to say "shame off you" we in fact go, "shame on you."
I'm sure even any biological mother, I'm left in a hospital unnamed and unwanted because in 1966 in Australia, if you're a 23-year-old Greek single woman, the shame of getting pregnant outside of wedlock; and so the child was conceived in shame, was left in a hospital in shame, my parents adopted me and never told us because they were ashamed for 33 years. So it was there.
You go back to Genesis 2:25 where the Lord says, "Adam and Eve were naked and they felt no shame."
So the fact that the Lord puts in the scripture that we're not meant to feel shame and that the enemy, then one chapter later, make sure that as soon as Eve blows it, as soon as Adam and Eve blow it, the first recorded conversation in scripture, "Adam, where are you?"
I think God is still saying that to us today. "Why are you hiding?" And we're like, "I'm naked, afraid and so I hid." So that shame makes us hide from God rather than run to God.
I came from a very staunch religious culture. As if God doesn't know everything, we can talk about the sovereignty of God, we can talk about the power of God but I don't know that we really believe it because we spend most of our life hiding from this sovereign, omniscient God that we talk about and sing to as if he somehow doesn't know. He still loves us.
It took me so long, Sheila and I hope the book helps people not take as long as I did because I've never known a time where I didn't feel shame and it really took me way too long to be able to truly believe that God would wholeheartedly accept me despite, not only what had been done to me, let me just say, I brought a whole lot of stuff to the table that I can't blame on anyone else. I've got my own bulk of things that I did and patterns of destructive behavior and just things that I did.
So the enemy just heaps shame upon shame. Our world heaps shame upon shame. The Internet, you start on it long enough, it tells you you're not pretty enough, you're not smart enough, you're not thin enough, you're not rich enough, you're not talented enough, you're not gifted enough. And even when you think you're doing better then you scroll and someone else is doing even better.
I think we have a shaming culture. We put it all out there on the Internet. We don't cover anybody. And love covers a multitude of sin. I think we, in the body have to get much better in grace and love to cover one another rather than shame one another.