“I was afraid if you saw it, you would run away. I thought if you ever knew you wouldn’t want me anymore” Those are the words of the sweet heroine in a book I read years ago. The bride is crying to her groom because she has revealed an ugly scar on her back from a childhood of abuse. Her husband draws her closer and assures her that this slight imperfection does not diminish his love for her, but makes him want to protect her from further harm. The scene is endearing, but the girl’s words stuck with me. “If you ever knew . . .”
I think that so often when I receive your kind words about my writing and teaching. “If you ever knew . . .” If you knew the places I’ve been, the foolish, sinful things I’ve done, the stupid mistakes I’ve made – I’m not sure you’d ever trust me again. To say that God has done a work of grace in my life is a vast understatement. I understand David’s testimony of praise for the One who “redeems [my] life from the pit and crowns [me] with love and compassion” (Psalm 103:4). I have been in some deep, dark pits. But God . . .
Truth be told, we all have that thing (or several things) that we want to keep well hidden from the world. Maybe it is a physical issue, an emotional matter, a blot in our family history, or a regret from our past – whatever it may be, we believe it marks us as imperfect. Unlovable. Undesirable. So we cover it with make-up or long sleeves – we hide it behind a mask or a brave face. “If you ever knew . . .”
We may be able to hide it from others, but there is One who sees what we try so carefully to conceal. He knows us completely, warts, scars, hang-ups, and all. Nothing is concealed from His all-seeing eyes. That’s a scary thought. Jesus sees you – the real, raw, imperfect you. And yet . . . HIs heart is not repulsed. His eyes are not averted. His love is not diminished. Scars – whether physical, emotional, or spiritual – are nothing new to Him. Beloved, He who bears the scars of thorns and nails and spear understands yours and loves you still.