I broke my own cardinal rule on vacation this year. I cooked a meal. Breakfast to be exact. My rule for weekends and vacation is that I do not cook. But because I wanted to do something special for the family, I conceded. I woke up early that morning to cook a new recipe. With the recipe in hand for the ‘creamy grits casserole’, I carefully followed every step. As it came to a boil and before I reduced the heat, the pot of hot grits bubbled up. Bubbled up right in my face. Oouuccchhh! It actually burned the skin right off of my face! My first thought was to run and jump in the Bay because my face was burning so much. Since I couldn’t run or swim that plan was out so I settled for soothing it with some ice. The ice immediately brought relief and I started thinking about how I was going to cover this scar before it healed.
At age 54, I am now a woman with many physical scars. Scars on both knees: One from a firecracker when I was a little girl and one from my knee replacement two years ago. A scar on my wrist from hot glue intended for a craft project. A scar between my fingers from not being old enough to cut an orange in half. I could go on but I’ll spare you.
I am also a 54 year old woman who has dealt with many emotional scars. If you look close enough, you may be able to see the residual effects of those scars: a marriage that struggled for many years, loving a son who walked away from God and common sense, friendships that ended abruptly, church hurt, and the like. These scars helped shape a heart that doesn’t always trust immediately, chooses not to have lots of close friends, strives to live with boundaries, deals with emotional eating, becomes detached at times, etc. These residual effects are in direct response to being emotionally scarred.
Scars need to heal. The bandages need to come off so healing can take place. How does this healing look? Transparency. We need to be transparent. A clear looking glass, if you will. Why is it so difficult for Christians to be transparent? Why do we hide our scars? We need soul transparency. We need to heal. Lets not pretend our lives are perfect. They aren’t. We all bear scars. As parents, let”s be aware of how our children can be scarred. Help them heal by listening to their heart when they’re troubled. We need to move past our church hurt. Leaders need to be transparent. Don’t let hurt cover you with a hard scab.
There’s a song that I absolutely love that ministers to my soul everytime I hear it. I want to share the words with you here:
I wept all alone, suffered on my own, I didn’t think that anyone would understand, until you opened up and shared your painful past with me. Then the wounds I kept hidden, were touched by Heaven’s hand, because God used you and all that you have been through. Don’t hide the scars, don’t be afraid to let them show, cause someone who hurts will see themself in you. There is healing in knowing I am not the only one. You can touch another heart, don’t hide the scars. Everyone must go through dark nights of the soul and bear the pain and all the wounds that life can bring, for in our weakest times, we need each other’s strength and with God’s love flowing through us, we find the faith we need. So no matter where we’ve stood, it all works out for good…Don’t hide the scars.
Dear one, transparency brings transformation. Allow others to see where you’ve come from and what God has done in your life. Being transparent means being vulnerable. You’ll be amazed at how others will be comforted and strengthened as you turn the looking glass towards you.
All praise to the God and Father of our Master Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 The Message Bible
The Looking Glass Reflection:
Do you hear others talking about a similar situation you’ve been through but refuse to come alongside and let them know that you, too, have experienced that? Do you hide it?
In what area of your life is God calling to be more transparent?
What steps you can take to do that?