As Christmas draws to a close, at least the day we celebrate Christmas, i had just settled down for a long winter’s nap when i could feel my complete face covered in severe scarring.
I asked the question, “What is this?” I was immediately reminded of The Scarlet Letter A for adultery and immediately the thought that some of GOD’s children are wearing a scarlet letter on their personhood which doesn’t belong to them like physical scars came to mind. Perhaps words of others, or actions of their own, words like failure, rejection, scorn but GOD is willing to make an exchange and set them free. I thought I will remember this to write it in my journal in the morning, and then the word A for absolve was clear as a bell and I needed to write this tonight. I got up and looked up the word absolve with Google dictionary – “it means to set or declare someone free from blame, guilt, or responsibility.”
In the book The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is publically ridiculed and shamed for having giving birth to an illegitimate daughter while her husband was out to sea. She was publically humiliated and paid penance required of her. She was an excellent seamstress and fashioned herself the letter A to be worn on her dress as a public display of having committed adultery. There are many lessons in this little read.
It seems to me tonight there are those who have adorned themselves with the shame of a scarlet letter worn publically for all to see because of life circumstances and choices made. This resulting in a weight being born that is too cumbersome resulting in rejection, brokenness, and little hope. The fear within of rejection being as real as an actual rejection.
I recall in earlier years of studying the Bible being told there is a scarlet thread that goes from cover to cover in the Word of God. That scarlet thread covers all shame, it hems you in before and behind (Ps 139). That scarlet thread is redemptive.
Isaiah 1:18 NLT “Come now, let’s settle this, ” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Wearing a scarlet letter that the enemy has imposed upon you or that vain imagination has cultivated is ill-fitting, and a wrong assessment of who a child of GOD really is.
If one must wear a scarlet letter let it be an A for being absolved. As a child of GOD, the exchange is clear, you have been blood-washed, cleansed and set free from shame and the blame game. You are not rejected, nor do you have to live out your life paying public shame. The Word of GOD tells us that JESUS bore our sin and our sorrows. Because of Isiah 53:4, there is a new garment for us to wear, it is a garment that has been fashioned for us found in Isaiah 61:3 ESV “…to grant those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
As believers, we have been absolved, anointed, and assured that as we walk in the light of who GOD says we are, even if we have committed sin, or have a reason for shame, HE bore our shame and forgives our sins. I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The only scarlet letter that should be adorned that defines the Believer is the one that is fashioned from the scarlet thread seen from cover to cover front to back, back to the front of the Word of God which gives absolute assurance in the atonement of Jesus Christ.
My prayer as i go to lay my head back onto my pillow is this; if you are one who has been carrying shame that is no longer yours to bear, sin that has been forgiven (and I might add forgotten by GOD – Micah 7:19, Psalms 103:12) then maybe this is encouraging to you. Find someone who you trust, who is mature in the Word who you can confide in and will agree to pray with you (James 5:15) that you will be set free from the oppressiveness and can walk in the light never to adorn yourself with false names like a failure, rejected, scorned ever again. And then testify of your new freedom to encourage others in finding their freedom. John 8:36 – If the SON sets you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Yvonne holds a Bachelors in Theology, is a Master Certified Life Coach, holds diplomas in Christian Education and Biblical Counseling. Her life motto is, “Allowing the petals of your life to unfold in His love” as she partners with women in their journey of learning to be over-comers and reaching for their potential in Christ Jesus. Her passion includes her family, quiet walks by oceans edge and leading others to faith in Christ.