I actually had something else in mind to write about this morning, but I can’t seem to shake this image, and the conversation that I read surrounding it yesterday.

I’ll be honest with you. This is really hard for me to look at for very long, as all I can think is “his face…his beautiful face!” On top of that, it just makes me feel sad. Piercing is one thing, but the gauging is something I cannot get my brain around. Yesteryear’s dying your hair bright blue in the name of self-expression seems pretty tame by comparison. But when this came through my newsfeed on Facebook yesterday, and a friend whom I’ve never met, but whose work and viewpoint I admire, had posted a comment to it, I was curious.

When I clicked on the picture, I realized that it had with it a caption that read “Describe this picture in one word.” Down the many, MANY comments I read…








This saddened me so. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of these types of comments on that photo.

I don’t understand why he’s decided to express himself this way, but I do think, deep down, that a lot of those who go to the extreme to change their appearance are trying to cover some pretty extensive pain. They don’t like who they see when they look in the mirror, so they change it, creating a mask in the process. But really, I have to ask…who among us doesn’t don a mask from time-to-time? Which of us doesn’t hide our pain with a manufactured smile, or a fake story to make people think our lives are perfect? His mask is extreme, granted, but is it really any different from our own? How do we even have a leg to stand on in judgment?

I kept scrolling down all the negativity and scathing one-word indictments, until I found my friend’s…


Yes. YES.

My Jesus loves that boy. LOVES him, that young man who is someone’s son, who played soccer, skipped rocks, and popped wheelies on his bike, the sun glistening off his hair on a hot summer day. My Jesus thinks enough of him that He would’ve climbed up on that cross to save him, had he been the only one on the planet. Just like He would’ve done for you…for me. Even if he looked just like he looks now.

Even then.

You know, maybe that wasn’t my friend’s comment at all. Maybe if I went back and looked, it would have Jesus’ name and picture by it, because it’s exactly what He would say. And if that’s what He thinks, who are we to think any differently?


Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.” Matthew 7:1-5 MSG

“Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” Romans 5:6-8 MSG

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1 NLT