grace like sunscreen

by joy soaked words

I’ll wait while you grab a coffee and get comfy, we are chatting about all things Narnia, slathering grace like sunscreen and why I am asking Jesus to dig his fingernails into me on Joy Soaked Words today.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I am currently walking through with Jesus, and aspects of who I am, that need work – there’s a lot. There’s a lot, but he shows me in pieces, it’s not a dump on me and then he walks away, it’s more like a hey, this is something you need to work on and I’m here to work on it with you. If we are going to do this, then allow me to work on this with you. It feels a bit like a constant conversation between me and the Lord right now, he keeps reminding me that he is with me in this season.

I am a lover of the Chronicles of Narnia, I grew up reading and listening to the stories over and over. In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, (An epic story and by far my most favourite) one of the characters, Eustace is turned into a dragon because of his greed and a golden bracelet. Through a turn of events, Eustace is unable to be turned back into a boy, until Aslan steps in. Leading Eustace (who is still a dragon) to a small pool of water, he tells him to undress and then get into the water. Eustace looks down at his scales, and tells Aslan that he isn’t wearing any clothes. Aslan gently tells him, that he has to remove his skin and scales before he is able to get into the water. Eustace begins to pull and tear at his skin, pulling one layer off to find yet another underneath. He keeps taking off layers of his skin and scales, before he realizes that he isn’t getting anywhere. At this point in the story, Aslan asks Eustace to lay down, and tells him that it is going to be very painful, but he will be able to help him. Aslan digs his claws deep into Eustace, creating an incredibly painful moment for Eustace, but he grits his teeth because he is aware that he needs to go through it if it means that he is able to be a boy again.

I don’t know about you, reader, but I feel like Eustace somedays. Tearing at this ‘skin and scales’ because I know that there is stuff that that I need to deal with, things below the surface that I am aware of – but unaware of how deep those wounds actually are until I start to pull away the ‘skin and scales’ that have grown over these wounds. I feel like Eustace, because regardless of how many times I try and deal with these things on my own, I can’t deal fully with everything. There are surface level things that I can address, but it goes hand in hand with this whole idea of open heart surgery that I have talked about in the past.

I need Jesus to dig in his fingernails and pull.

I need Jesus to dig his fingernails deep into me, and pull, because I can’t, like Eustace, do this on my own. As much as I hate the idea of it, because I know that whatever he finds is going to be incredibly painful, but I can’t leave these things to fester. I can’t leave these wounds to become infected, they need to be dealt with.

There has been one thing after another, the not so nice parts of who I am, being called out by people in my life. These conversations have come out of asking hard questions, of random comments that have been made towards me – comments that hit a wound and I react in ways that are not how I should react, often back in anger or frustration. I react, because it hurts when somebody touches that wound within me. I react, because I don’t like the idea that I don’t have it all together – real talk. It reminds me of my humanness – that I am a broken human being. It’s painful and messy, but also gloriously beautiful to become aware of this. I need Jesus to dig his fingernails into me, because these issues in my life are way deeper then this idea of something being skin deep.

Jesus and I are working away at these wounds together, slowly. Because each one is painful enough on it’s own, to look at more than one at a time. He has brought people into my life, to work through these wounds with me too. These people don’t run when I open up and show them the ugly parts of who I am, instead they show me their wounds too – because they are the type of people that love deep. They understand the call of community and living vulnerably with those who they love – they get it. They get the humanness, because they are beautifully, gloriously and messily human too.

In saying all of this, and knowing that there will always be things that I need to work on, and work through with Jesus – there is grace for these moments. There will always be grace for these moments, these seasons that I am walking through.

In a paraphrased version of what a fellow blogger once said – We need to slather on grace like sunscreen. (HB)

I’m slathering grace on like that thick white stuff I don’t like to wear, over all over these wounds, and all over this season.

Here’s to allowing Jesus to dig his fingernails into me and pull, for these moments where I need to slather on more grace.

Thank you for reading my words – If they reached you in someway, I want to hear about it. You can leave a comment below – I appreciate hearing from my readers.

njl.