The Scarlett Letter



Dear Scarlett,

I see you.

I see you seeking water at the well in the sweltering heat at noon. Hoping no one else will be around. Away from the whispers and the stares.


I see you in the wilderness waiting to die. Feeling abandoned, hopeless, unseen, and scared.

I see you standing, trembling before your accusers. Ripped from all dignity, trying to cover yourself with barely any cloth, waiting for someone to throw the first stone.

You think that you have to wear that brazen red letter over your heart. That this badge that others have sewn onto you has to be your only identity. That your moment(s) of weakness has you forever marked as "that girl"-


Damaged.


Washed-up.


Worthless.


Ruined.


And oh, how the mighty have fallen.

But you are not the only one.

Just look at these three "mighty men" of God.


Moses

When Moses was still living with Pharaoh he struck down an Egyptian.

He killed him and then hid him in the sand.


David

David knowingly summoned a married woman to his bed (rape ?), got her pregnant, and tried to deceive her husband into lying with her in order to cover up the pregnancy. But when that didn't work, he arranged for Bathsheba's husband to be killed under the guise of warfare casualties. David then acted as if nothing was awry until the Prophet Nathan called him out.


Saul/Paul

Saul was so zealous in his pursuit of riding Jews of the "Jesus cult", that other men laid their cloaks at his feet as they prepared to stone young Stephen, the first martyr of the Bible.

He was also known for “ravaging the church” dragging off men and women-putting them in prison for simply having faith in Jesus as Lord.


No actions are without consequence. Whether good or bad, noble or sinful, big or small.


All three of these men where guilty of murder and other regretful acts. However, David gives a great example of how to repent and seek God's great mercy.


Psalm 51: 1-2 "Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithful love;

according to Your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion.

Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin."


v.10-12 "God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.Do not banish me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit.


v. 17 "The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.

God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart."


These are the words of David's lament to God after his grievous discretions with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah.


Scarlet, David wasn't just spewing great wishes. He was claiming great truths. God can and does blot out our rebellions. He can and does create a clean heart and renews our spirit.


It's also important to note that David recognized the importance of God's presence, and that being cut off from God would be worse than any societal or peer-related consequence. But the Lord can and does restore the JOY of our salvation, the joy in our relationship with Him.


The best part is that once we have humbled ourselves to God we can start healing. He can wipe us clean and allow us to start over.

2 Corinthians 7:10 "For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death."

For the Christian, repentance leads to restoration; therefore, the grief over the sin is welcomed. However, without Christ, Scarlet, your grief would just be self-loathing, keeping you from moving forward.

Keep in mind that none of our mighty men's erroneous actions got them sidelined.


Moses should have been branded as a murderer for the rest of his life. However, we know that this was not the end of his story. He did not stay living out his days in the wilderness of Midian.


No, he became one of the most famous characters in the Bible.He led the Hebrew people out of Egyptian bondage and through the Red Sea. He had a one-on-one session with God on top of Mt. Sinai and had the amazing privilege of bringing down the hand-written ten commandments from God.


David is still known for being a man after God's own heart, and as the great King David, one of the greatest Kings of Israel, even to this day.


When most Christians think of Paul (his new identity), we think of him as one of the great heroes of the faith. Someone who wrote nearly half of the New Testament, and evangelized most of the known world at that time. The thorn in his flesh nor the regrets of his past did not keep him from being used by God in a mighty way.


You see, Scarlett, all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).You were not the first the fall nor will you will be the last.

So wouldn't you rather trade your badge of dishonor for a crown of grace? A crown that is jeweled in love, compassion, and redemption.




Sweet Scarlett, no matter how wilted and withered you feel, let the word of the Lord that is wedged deep within give your soul strength.


People are always going to talk, judge, and stare. But don't let this overwhelm you, for the Lord will be holding your hand the whole time. Your sins have been thrown into the deep ocean. You are clean and clear before God. People won't ever know your heart, but God always will.

All people have worn this badge of shame from time to time. Now that you have earned your own badge, let it be a reminder to keep you humble and compassionate.


So don't be afraid to give people something to talk, judge and stare. Just let it be...


His grace.


His compassion.


His love.


But sometimes it's not the scorn of other people that gets to us, it's simply forgiving yourself. Remember the words that David wrote. Remember, he too fell but was also greatly redeemed.


Psalm 103:8-12 "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and rich in faithful love. He will not always accuse us or be angry forever. He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our offenses.For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."

You can never fall from grace. Maybe out of favor with man, maybe out of societal comfort, but never out of God’s grace.


Sister, once you have repented of your sins, your transgressions are gone, and only you are the one holding on to them. Refusing to forgive yourself will be the same as rejecting Jesus dying on the cross. When He died for us He took on all the weight of sin, so that you and I wouldn't have to bear it. He is truly big enough to handle it. Give it to Him, and hang your head no more.


Don't live your life in the shadows. Instead do as Paul once said, "forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead." So much lies ahead. God has so many plans.


Throw off that dirty cloak of shame and rip off your badge of dishonor.

Be the daughter of the King that our Lord knows you to be.


Wear that crown.


Sincerely,

Grace