The Awkwardness of a Rash That Turned into an Incurable Feature
I’ve got a defining feature on my body. My freckles! All my life I’ve had them and all my life I’ve had people making comments about them.
What once was something I wanted to hide, is now something that brings me joy. So what changed?
It was the day that God told me, out of the blue, that he loved them. I was with a group of people and we had been talking about how God speaks to us. We were asked to spend 10 minutes to sit down with a pen and paper and simply ask God. “What do you want to say to me?”
Almost immediately I asked the question, the response came back….“I love your freckles”. I felt an instant joy, my lips began to curl and my face went from straight lipped to a beaming smile. Such unexpected words but what a difference they made.
The Creator of the Universe loved my freckles!
Over the months and years that followed, I’ve had many moments of recalling situation after situation of times that my freckles became the feature of conversation.
At school I was accused of placing a marker pen on my left arm and letting it sit there to seep into the skin, to make a darker brown mark on my upper left arm. I’m not sure if people thought I had nothing better to do than to sit with a brown marker on my skin day after day to ensure it stayed there.
That very freckle became the talk of many group settings where I was warned over many years to check out potential skin cancer. I couldn’t seem to convince many people that it had not changed shape, colour or size year after year. So I used to get my shirt sleeves made longer to cover it up so I didn’t have to explain myself almost every time I went out.
“Do I turn brown?” was a repeated question. It always seemed to have an air or little twist of you’re so weird or you’re so white, you’re different and I’m going to make sure you know you are, my skin looks better than yours, or you’re not like me; my reply changed over the years, here were some of the variations;
- I burn quickly, turn red, peel and then go white again
- Yip, but only in patches…“oh” the person said surprised, “where do go brown?”, my reply…“where the freckles are, they grow darker in the sun and I get more in the summer”.
But, I now celebrate my freckles! I think the moments that make me smile the most, are the different countries I’ve been to;
The kids in South Africa used to grab me by the arm with one hand and get their little palms and rub hard against my arms. It started to hurt, they rubbed so hard that they caused my arm hairs to get knotted! Even as I’d pull away from each of them and try and stop them, they seemed so determined to rub hard. My translator explained they were trying to rub the dirt off my arms!
The medical doctor in Indonesia was shocked, I had come to see what could be done about a rash that had appeared. “Wow! That’s quite a rash!” he exclaimed as he took hold of my arm and examined it. When he took hold of the other arm to check that out too, I stopped him to say “That’s not the rash I was born with those!”
In India, the kids were all pointing at me and starting to question the pastor I was with. There was dialogue back and forth with him and the kids for a bit. I inquired as to what they were asking. “Oh, your brown spots” was his reply. “What did you say they were?” I asked. He replied without flinching, “I explained you had a disease”. “No, no” was my response. I turned to the kids, “God gave you one big kiss of brown” I exclaimed as I motioned with my hands to each one of them. “When it came to me, God just gave me little brown kisses all over my body.” I was kissing my arms with tiny little kisses as I spoke and waited for the pastor to relay it back to them.
My freckles have been placed by God, he made me special, and just as he put his special artists touch on my body, he has done that to you too.
I’m so grateful that I now take joy in how I’ve been created. My freckles aren’t anything to hide, they are something to be celebrated and enjoyed. My freckles give me joy, and they are loved by God.
Do you need to hear from God too and get a correct perspective from Him?
How about asking God the same question that I did. Leave it open and allow Him to speak whatever he wants to say to you…. “God, what do you want to say to me today?”