Lots of people know her…mostly those young enough to be my kids. But one day soon millions more will meet her on a big screen. And I pray that on that day millions of lives will be changed. And millions will write love on THEIR arms…perhaps for the first time…and forever after.
Because love changes us. It changed Renee and it can change you, me, and anyone. No person is ever beyond love’s reach.
NO PERSON IS EVER BEYOND LOVE’S REACH…
She has known such great pain; haunted dreams as a child, the near-constant presence of evil ever since. She has felt the touch of awful naked men, battled depression and addiction, and attempted suicide. Her arms remember razor blades, fifty scars that speak of self-inflicted wounds… She drinks long from a bottle of liquor, takes a razor blade from the table and locks herself in the bathroom. She cuts herself, using the blade to write “**** UP” large across her left forearm…
It’s the only identity she knows. The one she tells herself is true.
God sends her friends that same morning to tell her a different truth. One of those friends, Jamie Tworkowski, writes her story a few days later…and titles it “To Write Love on Her Arms.”
And that’s exactly what he did:
We often ask God to show up. We pray prayers of rescue. Perhaps God would ask us to be that rescue, to be His body, to move for things that matter. He is not invisible when we come alive. I might be simple but more and more, I believe God works in love, speaks in love, is revealed in our love. I have seen that this week and honestly, it has been simple: Take a broken girl, treat her like a famous princess, give her the best seats in the house. Buy her coffee and cigarettes for the coming down, books and bathroom things for the days ahead. Tell her something true when all she’s known are lies. Tell her God loves her. Tell her about forgiveness, the possibility of freedom, tell her she was made to dance in white dresses. All these things are true.
We are only asked to love, to offer hope to the many hopeless. We don’t get to choose all the endings, but we are asked to play the rescuers. We won’t solve all mysteries and our hearts will certainly break in such a vulnerable life, but it is the best way. We were made to be lovers bold in broken places, pouring ourselves out again and again until we’re called home.
Love until we are called home…
That’s God talking to you and to me.
I have never carved a lie on my arm, but over the years I certainly have written lies like billboards in my thoughts… “I’m not good enough…I can’t do anything right…Nobody really loves me. I’ll never accomplish anything worthwhile.”
Meeting Renee reminds me of the agony of my days of despair. Days I want to forget, but God calls me to remember. So I can love better.
So I can write love on someone’s arm—where lies were once written.
Thank you Jamie, for sharing Renee’s story and your own. And for inspiring me to dig deeper, much deeper, into my own heart so I can love, truly love, as God fills my heart with His love…until I am called home.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV
Thanks for sharing a part of my story today. May we always remember the sun never fails to shine, and the love of THE SON never fails to heal.
Read the rest of Renee’s story.
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