Devotion: Exposing Your Awfulness

Mark Salzman—a bestselling author—in order to overcome writers block reluctantly teaches a writing class at a lockup for violent teenagers, many of whom were charged with murder. As he spends more time with them, teaching them his craft, the boys come to believe in themselves and the power of redemption.

“How you doin’, Mark? We missed you.”

“I missed you, too, Santiago. It’s good to be back.”

“Sorry about not comin’ to class today. I wanted to try meditation, see if it could make me relax.”

“How was it?”

“It kinda sucked. The instructor was a guy.”

“But you look happy,” I said.

“I am happy! Something good happened to me today, Mark.” Santiago grew serious for a moment. “I been feelin’ really stressed ’cause I started trial last Friday. This morning the chaplain saw me and he asked me what was wrong. I said, ‘I feel like a piece of sh– stuck under somebody’s shoe.’ I told him how I had to hear the prosecutor say all this bad stuff about me in front of everybody. It was the worst day of my life. My whole family was there. I felt like I let everybody down. So the chaplain looks at me an’ he puts his hand on my shoulder like this, an’ he says, ‘Diaz, you gotta remember something: You are somebody. Don’t ever forget that.’ So I thought about it, and I realized…he’s right! Nobody could take that away from me. I am somebody! I am somebody,” he said once more, grinning this time. “Somebody awful!”

Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.

Ephesians 5:1

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

Eph 5:11

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:5

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 1:5-7


  • How do you view your life? How do you think God views your life?
  • What virtues would you list for people who are “walking in the light?” What about people who are “in darkness?”
  • Where is there an area of darkness and secrecy in your life that God wants to expose? 
  • What does the challenge to walk in the light rather than walk in the darkness mean to you?
  • What does it mean to you that Christ sees your awfulness, but also sees you as somebody worth dying for?

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