“Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD” (Jer. 6:15).
The body has many natural response mechanisms. When we are exposed to the stimulus of humor, we laugh. To pain, we cry. And to shame, to blushing. Blushing is a natural response to the sense of shame we feel when eyes are on us, and we don’t look good!
God designed this mechanism. And yet modern America has lost the ability to blush. Things that were once shameful, like indecent clothing, viewing pornography, premarital sex, and “shacking up,” are now ho-hum. In fact, some of the things we should be blushing over we not only accept, but we validate and celebrate. The magazine covers we pass at the store keep pushing the envelope, venturing into newer and bolder frontiers of confusion. Those who shield their gaze are either prudes or “haters.” (Someone needs to blush.) We parade our nakedness, even our shameful misdeeds and confusion before the world, and we cover each other by our shared applause and affirmations.
If only our problem was a wardrobe malfunction, something superficial. Easy to fix. And if only it were a blushing malfunction – the result of some imbalanced chemicals in the brain. Then we could take a pill and make it all go away. No, our problem is a soul malfunction. We are incurably wrong in the soul. Having crossed the line, tasted the forbidden fruit, we now try to cope with an angry God short of surrender. We run, sew fig cleaves, and try to hide our nakedness. We pass the blame. We justify ourselves. But God sees through.
O that we would humble ourselves, and see our shame. Our soul shame. And having seen this, that we would blush, that we would cry, that we would come to the cross and find the only relief for shame and guilt in the blood of the Crucified.