Tonight as I was washing dishes, gathering up trash, and pulling clothes from the dryer, I turned on some music. There was an old hymn on the CD, and I just let it roll over me: “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.” Every time I hear that song, my mind goes back to my high school years, to a girl I knew only by sight. She was a few years older than I, about sixteen, and horribly scarred from burns she had received as a child. Her face was drawn and distorted, and the skin on her arms shiny and tight. Worse, her hard bitter laugh betrayed the state of her angry heart. She became pregnant sometime that year, and I remember not knowing how to feel about all the hurt I saw in her eyes.
I dreamed one night that she was baptized, and when she came up out of the water, all of her scars were gone. She was beautiful and whole. And that song always brings her to mind. Jesus, with tender hands of compassion, embraces and heals our wounds.