No one wants to know this, but as a child, I had a wart problem. As if being 12 isn’t hard enough, my hands were covered in what one young boy called, “Rice Krispies ”. Every finger held several of these small but, in my mind, grotesque bumps, and it was these Rice Krispies that kept me feeling inadequate and not as pretty as my friends. With hands dug deep into my pockets, I wandered through many of my elementary and middle school years trying to hide these wart covered appendages that I believed were sure to keep me from every level of success, especially success in the boyfriend department.
While these physical bumps usually disappear, as mine did, adulthood can leave us with a collection of undesirable wart-like scars that we accumulate through difficult seasons of life. There’s choices and experiences that take much more from us than they give, and in many cases, what remains is a sense of shame at the scars we bear.
We all have warts, don’t we? Honest self reflection can uncover those wounded, and not so pleasing parts about ourselves that can leave us feeling undesirable, unloveable, and unacceptable. We work hard to hide the less than likeable bits and pieces, and hope on hope that people won’t notice that we are in fact flawed, broken, and wounded. With a deep fear of rejection in our souls, we work hard to show the world that we are ok.
Well, if you have your hands dug deep in your pockets like I did, trying to show the world that you’re ok, I have such great news. Jesus wasn’t afraid of warts when He walked the earth. His ministry shows us that He didn’t see warts. He saw people, people He loved. Waiting for the Samaritan woman, warts and all, as she made her way to the well that day; Zacchaeus and his bad behaviour, and the criminal on the cross beside Him, Jesus did not shy away from people with warts. And, thank goodness, He is exactly the same today.
My warts and yours, do not change His feelings about us. We don’t need to hide from Him. In fact, He offers radical, unconditional acceptance. Warts and all. We can be fully seen and completely loved all at the same time. What a relief this is. And what’s more, His love provides healing and hope, never leaving us as He finds us, but gently healing our warts and bringing us closer to who He designed us to be.
It’s an act of vulnerability for sure, to pull your hands out of your pockets and lift them up to Jesus, showing Him your brokenness, fears, and the nasty bits that you’ve tried so hard to hide. But without exception, His heart bursts with love, and He does not turn away from us. Instead He reaches back, holds those Rice Krispie hands without a second thought and leads us towards wholeness.
Thank you Jesus for Your unconditional love and acceptance of us.