Bishop David Roller <br />To read more from Bishop Roller, visit fmcusa.org/davidroller.
I saw a young girl with a scar on her face, and I winced. I knew she’d carry the scar through high school and employment interviews. I knew she’d always fight the first impression, always have to overcome the assumption of damage. I knew it would be hard for a lover to love her. Someone would really have to like who she really was to look beyond the scar.
One of my great disappointments has been to realize that I am not the center of the universe. Apparently everyone else on planet Earth didn’t get the memo that they were all created for my pleasure. So I used to squirm when we sang Isaac Watts’ song that said “would he devote that sacred head for such a worm as I,” because I didn’t feel like a worm. I felt like a master and commander of the universe!
Like most multiple-choice answers, it’s neither of the above. We are not the masters of the universe, nor are we squiggling, dirty worms. The Good Story of God is that we all were created to look like God in important ways (that’s the image of God in us). But the Good Story then documents our disfigurement, the slashing of sin across our beautiful features, the scar.
Now here’s the really good part of the Good Story: The one named Jesus loved us, scar and all. He doesn’t love us because we’re the center of the universe or amazingly beautiful. He loves us because He can see beyond both our inflated, self-validating, false bravado and also beyond our facial scars to who we really are and can be. He just plain old likes us.
Could you just stand in that pleasure for a moment — the pleasure of being liked without having to comb your hair or sing on key? That the One who created you likes you? Let that wash over you. Lie on that beach for a bit and soak it in.
Some will remember the movie “The Help,” where Viola Davis’ character assures the chubby, unwanted child, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Can I give you a different kind of assurance? “You is pretty. You is scarred. You is loved.”
He loves us because of who He is, because it’s His essential nature, the ground of His identity. Live on that beach.0