there is this thing about me i wish i could change:
my skin is too thin.
you can almost see it, flesh stretched over frame, opaque…translucent. how can those things be when they're seemingly opposite?
i've tried to change. i've tried not to care.
sometimes i pretend well, but sometimes i retreat.
i'm a turtle in a shell.
my mind is forgetful, so forgetful; i can't recall the simplest of things – what did i wear yesterday? – but my heart has elephant's memory.
there are wounds, some decades old, still oozy. from the fresh, blood seeps.
it's not a giving in to it, languishing in a pool of sorrow, not like that at all. it's f e e l i n g, and that deeply, a soul haunting.
a scar. yes, that's it…scars! words lash and leave their mark, actions speak and shatter glass…and a heart is scarred, and though it'd like to, it cannot forget.
the heart always remembers.
i wonder, indeed, if this is how i am naturally wired, than this is good. i'm a child of EL-ROI, the strong one who sees, EL-SHADDAI, God almighty; so He who sees me, He who gave me life, for cryin' out loud…is perfectly able to change me.
but He hasn't. so if my skin refuses to callous, to thicken, then must this way of being be for my good and His glory?
i think so.
i choose to believe so.
thin makes you aware. it opens your eyes, although sometimes not until later. thin builds compassion, it tenders you to others. thin is far from perfect, but maybe most of all, thin informs forgiveness.
left untended, thin is a gnarl of weeds, ugly and bitter and angry.
wisdom seekers see thin's beauty, life coursing in rivers below skin's surface.
i'm comfortable in this skin, thankful for its redemption.
its r e d e m p t i o n …
maybe one day i'll stop wishing to change.
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Joining Heather of the EO's "Just Write" writing prompt…I sure didn't see this one coming… :).
I loved this post from one thin-skinned sister to another. Are you also over-analytical and cannot just let it go like your husband asks you to do?
I love how you took a perceived weakness in personality and found the redemption that only the Creator of said personality can bring. He makes no mistakes and we are wonderfully made, thin skin and all, right? Beautiful post.
Oh, Robin, I loved this. This is *exactly* what I needed to read today. I am so thin skinned, and it’s both a blessing and a curse…today feeling more like the latter. It’s so helpful to know that I’m not the only one who is wired this way! Thank you.
Oh sweet friend, do you know how much I needed these words whispered in my ear today? Just today, as I wept tears of hurt and simultaneously cursed myself for consistently failing to “toughen up.” I am feeling the warmth of understanding in your words… and it comes as welcome as a hug in this moment. Thank you.
Absolutely. Being thin of skin myself, I recognize the need to be gentle and sensitive. I think of that as the biggest blessing of being easily scarred… very well put, lovey.
Wow! I’ve always thought my own thin skin was a flaw ~ you make me see it with eyes afresh! I love you, my thin but beautifully skinned sister! xoxo
This is me, to a “T”, Robin. I, also have questioned a million times why He made it this way. It’s not been until lately that I have been able to see that maybe it is not a character flaw that needs changing, but something about my personality that is a gift & that I need to embrace. Thanks for posting. I have never commented but I love each & every one of your “ponderings” Keep it up. Debra
I have the opposite problem. My skin is too thick. Between the two of us, there is a happy middle ground!
Thank you for this. I often wear my heart on my sleeve and words wound me more than I want them to. I pray for thick skin and a soft heart. Too often I forget that this is how God made me. Thank you so much for these words.
Before I came to the Lord I was told more than once that I had a heart of stone. The Lord broke my heart… I think all who know HIM are pretty thinned skinned, otherwise He would have a hard time penetrating the inner depths of our soul.
Have a wonderful day.
Hi Robin – I’m new to your site. I absolutely love this poem. Well, maybe you did not intend it to be a poem, but it certainly reads like poetry.
I dare say you’ve touched on a subject near to many a woman’s heart – perhaps not “dear” to our hearts, but maybe it should be as you’ve pointed out.
I have been grappling with this concept myself lately. “Thin” certainly has it’s Godly qualities, and I like how you said that it “informs forgiveness.” I think that’s where I let this gift become a source of bondage instead. It is a certainly a choice whether we use our gifts for good or let the accuser twist them into something else entirely.
I’m with you. I know this thin skin is a weakness and a strength, a challenge and an opportunity. Good to know about all the other sensitive souls out there. Have any of you read anything about temperament according to Myers-Briggs and Keirsey? When I read my temperament type description for the first time, I suddenly felt so much more at home in my own skin. 🙂
Hi,Robin! I found my way to your page via Ann Voskamps’ Holy Experience. So this was the first thing I read. Well, what an “eye opener”! I have never looked on my thin skin as a facet of who I am and that I can embrace it. I’ve been told I’m too touchy, too serious, to inclined to read too much into things. I know that’s true in many cases, but what to do? This is new light from the Holy Spirit through you that I can begin to walk in. And you know, I have been judgemental of others, especially my husband who has always said I don’t know when he’s teasing me. The poor guy. :>) Though I think he’s tougher I know he gets his feeling hurt, too. Thanks for your openess.