The Help

Written by Kathryn Stockett, it tells the story of three women living in the 1960s in Mississippi

Psalm 83:1-18

Reference: v.16 Cover their faces with shame, Lord, so that they will seek your name. (TNIV Bible)

Explore: The Help is not only a blockbuster movie that has just graced our screens, it is also a book that has been filling many bookshelves since 2009. Written by Kathryn Stockett, it tells the story of three women living in the 1960s in Mississippi, two are black and one is white. One of the quotes that stuck out to me as I read the book was in Aibileen’s story. She has been a maid in a white woman’s house since she was thirteen, and while she has a steady job now, her first job was short lived. She made a small mistake and was fired instantly. She explains, “Shame ain’t black, like dirt, like I always thought it was. Shame be the color of a new white uniform your mother ironed all night to pay for, white without a smudge or a speck a work-dirt on it.”

Application: Everyone experiences their own shame. Shame is part of our learning and development and helps us to understand social norms… but it is always uncomfortable. Those without shame can be rash, apathetic and intolerable. It seems that the writer of Psalm 83 was experiencing someone who lacked shame and was asking God to give them a dose.  Nothing puts us back in our box like a decent serving of shame. While it feels terrible at the time, it can often lead to a better understanding of other people and a desire to think about the consequences before we act.

Prayer: Lord, sometimes our learning can be uncomfortable and painful. Help us to move forward from these situations with reliance upon you and a desire to be better for you. Amen.

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.