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What the Red Sweater Said to the Counselor.

Many years ago, life had begun to tie my soul into little knots. Several sessions with a reputable Christian counselor helped me unravel them, make sense of things.

One day, as I dressed for another appointment with her, the air of early spring held a chill. So I chose to wear a stretch knit sweater, one that required zero ironing. Always an added bonus.

Just so happened the sweater was red. Coordinated with my print capris.

Keys in hand – and with no conscious thought to my color choice – off I went.

Half way through the session, the wise and discerning counselor glanced down at my sweater, then met my gaze through her reading glasses.

“Interesting that you’re wearing red.”

I shrugged.

Silence expanded the room.

I shifted in my seat a bit and knit my brow in confusion.

“That way,” she continued. “No one can see your heart bleeding.”


My heart? Bleeding?

Well, I was sitting in a counselor’s office. And it wasn’t so she could help me discover better ways to organize my kitchen.

The counselor had discerned with amazing accuracy. Emotionally, my heart was bleeding.

Wearing red kept those outside the small space of her office – family, friends, neighbors – from knowing the real status of my heart behind the smile.

Yes, there is a need to be careful with whom I share and about what I share, but it’s easy to become too guarded.

After all, Satan prefers no one know. 

Wear red! Keep your heart ache a secret. No one cares. They’ll laugh! You’ll be shamed…

Because if I seek counsel, share my struggles, and expose my need with those I trust…allow them to draw on the power and provision of God in prayer on my behalf…God can redeem and repair that bleeding heart, make it useful for His service.

Makes me a major threat to the enemy.

The world is far too full of red-sweater-wearers.

Shame, fear of rejection, or fear of, well, just about anything, keeps the bleeding heart hidden.

My handy red sweater that needs no ironing prohibits others from knowing life feels unbearable.

Stripped of all but a simple loin cloth and in full view of an angry crowd, Jesus shed blood for the sins of the world.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

Ephesians 1:7

He died for those who accused Him of blasphemy.

For those ordered to pound the nails into His hands and feet.

For those that stood and mocked the man they considered a major disappointment, this unimpressive carpenter from Nazareth.

Covered in blood, having never worn a red sweater, Jesus looked nothing like the promised Messiah Who would redeem Israel.

But He was. And His heart bled so I could have the freedom to wear white. 

What color covers your heart today?


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