I knew this girl a while back that used to cut herself. I didn’t really get it at the time–it kind of freaked me out, to tell you the truth. It wasn’t until much later that she explained it to me as it was a way for her to control something–some part of her life, because the rest of it was sort of a whirlwind.
I didn’t get how slicing her flesh offered her any measure of relief, but she actually seemed happier when she was doing it than when she wasn’t. It wasn’t until much later on in our rather complicated relationship that I saw the latticework of scars on her arms and legs. It took her a long time to show them to me, and she did the best she could to always hide them.
But once I saw them, I always knew they were there.
A month or so ago, I heard a song on the radio that finally gave me some measure of understanding of this girl, and her need to harm herself.
I think the song is called “Scars,” by Jonny Diaz, and the refrain goes “Praise God we don’t have to hide scars.”
The girl I knew thought she needed to hide her scars from me and the world because once we saw them we would either turn away in horror, or keep looking, and either pity her or think she was off her gourd. Either way, we would look at her differently, and never the same afterward.
She didn’t know she could trust me not to look away, until one day she did. I wanted to cry the first time I saw the scars, but I couldn’t allow myself to do it. Instead I just looked, and said something like “I’m sorry you had to do that.”
I think it’s the same with Jesus.
We don’t want to trust Him with our scars, because they hurt, or because they’re ugly, and we know that if we show them to Him, he’ll look at us differently afterward. Or maybe we feel like He’ll hurt us more once He knows what we’ve done to ourselves, or what’s been done to us by others.
The bible promises us that isn’t true. Isaiah 42:3 says “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”
I think that’s so true.
He sees us in our brokenness, and He sees our scars. He wept for us before we knew Him, and he weeps still, that we hurt.
But a bruised reed He will not break.
I don’t know if that girl I used to know ever trusted Jesus with her scars. It may be she did, and if that happened I praise God for the healing He undoubtedly brought her.
He can bring that healing to you, just as He brought it to me (anyone with a bunch of time to kill is welcome to peruse my blog if you want more details about any of that).
Just know you don’t have to hide your scars, not from Jesus, and not from the people you love.
Praise God we don’t have to hide scars…