I stepped outside, the sunshine dancing off my sweaty forehead. That’s when I saw her. A little girl covered with dirt from head to toe. No shoes. No smile. Only brown splotches of homelessness. She looked up at me. I stopped dead in my tracks. I noticed a deep, purple scar, starting from the top of her left eye down to the middle of her chin. She gave me this somber stare. Well, it was more of an invitation, a cry for help, from someone—anyone. I looked back into her sullen, dark blue eyes filled with tears from a broken heart and life, and asked, “Little girl, what is your name?”
“I’m the girl with the scar on my face,” she timidly replied.
An overwhelming sadness wrinkled my perspiring face, tears streaming down my cheeks like a waterfall. I sensed she wasn’t telling me this to seek out a miracle, but that deep inside she anticipated an abnormality. Her face told me everything I needed to know—people had muted her for years. And now my detoured path had placed me in the right place at the right time. I had been given the opportunity not only to heal her physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.
And so I did. With one gentle touch from my calloused fingertips, I removed her scar. In fact, her skin became baby soft. She was, in a sense, reborn. Her demeanor, her body language, her disposition immediately consumed the humid air, as though the sun had stopped at noon, as though time was no longer ticking. Before I could even share in her wonder, she skipped down the city street and ghosted into the summer heat.
Three years later, I found myself on the same street. That’s when I saw her. A preteen, dirt replaced by designs on her clothes. Skipping. Joyfully. I looked down at her. She stopped dead in her tracks, and humbly whispered, “Thank you for saving my life.”
Eagerly, I replied, “I didn’t. . .”
“Yes you did,” she excitedly spoke louder. “You don’t understand. My scar defined me. I was shunned by my parents, my pastor, even blind beggars who had heard of me. I was contemplating suicide. But then I met You. You healed me physically and emotionally. Now I’m known as ‘the girl with the smile on my face.’ ”
I couldn’t help but deliriously smile back at her. I stuttered, “But you scurried away so fast that I failed to heal you . . . spiritually.”
She passionately grabbed my wounded hands and mournfully cried out, “Look at your scarred hands! Now compare them to this” she frantically pointed to her face. “This is the definition of a spiritual transaction!” And just like the time before, she skipped down the street, without a care in the world.
It was my personal contact with her—my rugged, carpenter hands against her flawed discolored skin—that changed her life for the better. It was for this that drove me to the death of the cross. It was for this that was worth it–to forgive the scar-er and to rescue the scarred.
I chuckled to myself, “Hmmm. All this time, and I never even got her name.” I pondered for a minute. “Well, when I see her in heaven, I think I have just the right name for her: the girl with the smile because of the vanished scar on her face.”
My dirty, damaged hands are proof that I took her scar, and kept it for myself.