Gracie’s Scars

I love the old black-and-white TV shows. They are still as entertaining as ever but safe enough that I don’t have to worry that my kids will hear or see something objectionable. Plus, they give us a glimpse into a more simple time in history. So when one station started airing Burns and Allen I found myself quickly hooked. When I was growing up, George Burns was a little old man who was always smoking and showing up in cheesy movies saying witty one-liners. So watching a younger him was fun, but it was his wife and love of his life Gracie that stole the show back in the early days of television.

Gracie Allen

Gracie played the part of a dim-witted, but innocent and lovable wife. Audiences loved her. Even George remarked that there wouldn’t have been a show without Gracie. She was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and remains to this day a beloved television icon, many years after her death.

george burns and gracie allen

Gracie’s Secret

What fans didn’t know, while Gracie was making them laugh week after week, was that she lived with a painful secret. As a child she had been badly burned when a pot of boiling water fell on her. She was left with a huge scar across her shoulder and left arm. Gracie was very sensitive about this scar and would let almost no one see it. That was why she always wore dresses with long sleeves. Even her own children only saw it once. They had moved to a new house and she went swimming with them one time, to show them she could. Because of her embarrassment over her scar, she never went swimming again even in her own pool.

gracie allen


Sometimes physical injuries are obvious. Other times they can be covered with clothes like Gracie’s. Other scars can be hidden away so deeply the person themselves might not be fully aware of them. The scars I’m referring to aren’t physical but emotional. Gracie didn’t show the world her scars because it embarrassed her. Maybe she was afraid people would think less of her, even though it wasn’t her fault and didn’t take away from who she was. Emotional scars are different in that they can’t be seen but also because the pain can last anywhere from a day to an entire lifetime. They are also, sadly, more prone to judgment.

first aid crossMercy

If we see someone walking around with physical injuries we don’t judge them (at least I would hope not). Most of us would feel empathy and have compassion for them. We are merciful to them in their weakness and will even reach out to help them if they need it. But there are a lot of people, more than we know, walking around with wounds that nobody can see. Just something for all of us to think about. You never know what somebody is going through.

hand reaching for help

The Unloveable

Let’s face it some people are just hard to love. We’ve all met these people before. They aren’t making us smile and laugh every week like Gracie Allen did. They are cutting us off in traffic, lying about us behind our back, breaking promises or sometimes completely devastating us. What do we do then? It’s easy to love the cute, lovable Gracie’s of the world. Some people, not so much. Believe me I know it’s hard. I’ve come across some real stinkers in my life.

furious woman

Here are some things I’ve learned.

  • Forgiveness is vital. It doesn’t mean what they did was okay, not by a long shot. They might never even know you forgave them. They might not even be alive anymore. Forgiveness is an important step towards healing of your own soul.
  • You don’t have to allow abusive people in your life. You have a right to protect yourself. If someone is hurting you please get out and into a safe place then reach out to someone you trust for help. If you are a victim of domestic violence the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224. It is 100% confidential.
  • Sometimes it’s not that someone is hurting us personally, they are just a pain in the neck. This might be a co-worker, neighbor or even a family member. People like this might make for funny TV sitcom characters but in real life they are just a headache to deal with. Ask God to help you know how to deal with them. They could be acting out of their own pain. God sees every wound, scar, rejection and He is exceedingly merciful and full of compassion.

If you need prayer for anything, I’d be happy to put you on my prayer list. You can post if in the comments below or email it to me at barbra@gracegetsthelastword.com.

For His Glory,

Barbra Jones

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