In one of C.S. Lewis’s books, a young boy transforms into a dragon. The only way for him to become a boy again is to undergo a tremendous amount of pain and as the dragon skin is peeled and torn from him.
When Baby Su Su was born with Harlequin syndrome, she was covered in a thick layer of protective skin, or an armor of sorts. This hardened shell encased her from birth to protect her extremely sensitive skin. The pictures of her were so shocking that we didn’t want to post them. There are only about 100 known people in the world that are diagnosed with this extremely rare skin condition. Her skin doesn’t allow any moisture to escape and if not soaked in water and peeled away, the scales on her body will harden and crack her skin open and cause infection. As a part of her daily routine, she has to undergo long baths and repeated peeling sessions and be covered in oily creams and lotions to help moisturize her skin. During the first month, her initial dark brown casing has peeled off and underneath light pink skin appeared.
Tonight as I held up her tiny head during her bath time, I was reminded that despite the tragic way she was born, she is still just a little baby underneath. She giggles, waves around her hands and feet, screams, burps loudly, and coos (and sometimes leaves little surprises in the tub).
Despite her outer appearance, she’s a charmer and melts most hearts. Our care is not based on outer appearance and how adorable she is. We love as Jesus loves, we love her for who she is, and the simple fact that she is a child created in the image of God.
Peel back my hardened shell.
Begin the painful process of shedding.
Take away the layers of pain to discover,
the person inside, that I’ve hidden away.
Reveal my true self.
Who you created me to be.
Radiant and beautiful.
Loved, because I am yours.