“Nobody lets it all hang out quite like my friend Bob.” I’ve looked at Joe Coffey’s Facebook page only a couple times. But the last time I did, that’s what I read there. Got me thinking, Why am I like this?
I remembered how eighteen months ago I asked one of our best friends, Mindy Cvammen, to read the pre-release manuscript of Red Like Blood. She did and was very concerned for me. “Why are you throwing yourself under the bus?” I cringed, thanked her for her time, and signed off with the publisher anyway. After all, Joe and I had purposed to keep brutal transparency in sight as we wrote the book.
My daughter Grace is now twelve years old. Last week I saw her reading Red Like Blood and all of a sudden my transparency felt a little more brutal.
Rob Thomas leads worship at our Sunday Night Cellar Dwellers community group. You can read about him on pages 111-114 and see his picture on page 211. The book ends with a profound observation he made about life. Anyway, last Sunday night I showed up with these doubts in my head. Rob must have known because he pulled out his guitar, grinned, and played a song I didn’t know. It started like this:
Praise God, we don’t have to hide scars.
They just strengthen our wounds and they soften our hearts.
They remind us that where we have been is not who we are.
So praise God, praise God, we don’t have to hide scars.
As the lyrics spilled out it I could almost hear the Lord whispering in my ear:
It’s okay. Trust Me—it really is okay.
Really? I asked.
Maybe you have deep scars. Ugly scars. Permanent scars. Maybe they are physical. Maybe you wear them on your face. Maybe, like mine, they are emotional. And shameful. I will let you in on my little secret:
There once was a King, who, so burdened with grief,
walked to his death so that we could find peace.
He rose up with scars on His hands and His feet. By His wounds we are healed.
So praise God we don’t have to hide scars. We know His are covering ours,
So praise God we don’t have to hide scars.
Some people wonder how I can look myself in the mirror. I could not do it except for one thing. When I look, I can almost see a Hand on my shoulder. It has a big ugly scar—the ultimate beauty mark of Love. Love that satisfies God’s justice and exhausts God’s wrath. Love that offers pure, life-changing grace. Love that purchased forgiveness, redemption, and healing.
Now if your scars point to His scars, and His scars point to His great, unique love—then consider being brutally honest. It’s okay.
If your scars are covered by His, consider letting it all hang out. Someone might see His scars by first looking at yours. Trust Him. When they see His they usually forget about yours. And even if they don’t, it’s still okay. Really.
In this short clip, songwriter Jonny Diaz explains the story behind his lyrics:
Here’s a more familiar song with a similar theme: