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Exposure and shame, particularly in high places, draw us like a magnet. The media come out for a prolonged playtime and the population stands on the sidelines, tut-tutting and shaking their heads. The more we find out the more we want to know, so that we may feel justified in pouring more burning coals on this wanton head and driving this scapegoat out into the wilderness. And so we are atoned.

Not according to Isaiah 58. The spotlight is turned back to us. Our inner darkness hits centre stage and a loud trumpet declares it to all. The mask of respectability and capability falls. There is nowhere to hide and we flee to our own wilderness. The wilderness, however, is an apt teacher. There we learn what we need to know to live responsibly and effectively with one another. There is the possibility of return to begin again. And we are on the road to shalom, even theosis.