i had run in to the grocery store to grab another bag of tortilla chips for dinner with friends that night. a quick “get in and get out” … walked with my usual “i’m on a mission” pace and made a straight line for the snack aisle to grab the chips. after debating whether or not i really want to spend the money on the over-priced flavored tortilla chips, i finally made a decision and stepped out into the main aisle and made my way to the self-checkout lanes. approaching me, i spotted a teenage boy being followed by a girl with a shopping cart… what caught my eye, was the girl’s makeup. not much surprises me these days, but it was hard to ignore the dark black vertical diamonds that she had painted across her eyes. i was trying to figure out (without being rude or noticeable) if this was perhaps a new trend in makeup styles, or maybe actually something more permanent, and as i passed her moving towards the checkout lanes, she began to turn the corner, solemnly following the teenage boy with her cart, i noticed the pain. not only did her eyes seem sad when i glanced at them, but her arm was an entire patchwork display of the pain that this girl has burrowed deep inside of her.
i will never be able to get that image out of my mind… from her shoulder, the whole way down to her hand, were scars crossing over each other the entire length of her left arm. she was quietly walking through the grocery store in a tank top with sad eyes and a patchwork of scars etched all across her arm. sitting here in my comfortable bed, i am still in tears thinking about the depth of pain that this beautiful young girl must feel in her life. i am ashamed to have to say that i did not turn around. i was in shock. i kept walking towards the self-checkout, fumbled through my purse to pay for the chips, and walked out of the store, hoping that i could just reach the car before any tears made themselves evident. i wish that i would have turned around. i don’t know how that conversation would have gone, or how i would have even brought it up and who knows, i probably would have been cursed out, but i wish that i would have turned around… i wish i would have walked up to this girl and told her that she is loved.
because… truth is, she really is loved.
“This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about – not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” [1 John 4:9-10]
ever since i walked out of that grocery store with tears in my eyes, it has been my prayer that the Lord places someone in the this girl’s life to speak truth… to tell her that she is loved… to tell her about the One who loves her so much he bore even greater scars just for her. my heart weeps tonight to think that there are girls nearby that don’t know that kind of love and know only of the pain. and my heart is sad because i don’t know how to go back and find her…
but my heart is awakened.
and i will not forget this patchwork of pain on the arm of the girl in the grocery store… i wish that i could have done more, but i will have to rest in knowing that God is in control… and God loves her more than i could ever show her… but i am not comfortable with my silence.