I have a scar on my left knee. When I was about 9 or 10, I took a bump on my bicycle and flew off onto a brick on the ground. My knee split open to the bone–I was lucky it didn’t break. I had about 15 stitches and left the ER with an orange popsicle because I didn’t cry while they stitched me up. I watched the doctor sew every stitch.
I have a scar on my left side, under my ribs. When I was 10 or 11, I teased my older brother until he got so mad he chased me over a fence where there was a short, squatty palm tree with ugly thorns that grabbed my side and tore it open. I had about 10 stitches and left my pediatrician’s office with a lollipop.
I have a scar on my chin. When I was 7 or 8, a bunch of us from the neighborhood were playing slip-n-slide in the hot Arizona summer. I slipped as I ran on the wet driveway and fell and clocked my chin. I had a few stitches and it hurt worse than any of the other stitches–the numbing agent didn’t work as well where there was no fatty tissue for the needle to penetrate.
I have a couple of scars on both my legs. When I was 12, I secretly used my grandfather’s old razor–the one you actually had to screw in a razor blade. My grandfather died when I was 8; but my grandmother still had his razor. It was the first time I shaved my legs and when the razor sliced through my flesh, I should have told my grandmother to call my mom to take me to the ER for a tetanus shot and stitches (I was too embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone–my mom thought I was too young to shave–so I suffered silently, and in long pants, through the wounding). There was a lot of blood and those wounds took a long time to heal.
I have scores of other scars that all tell stories from my life: a couple of chicken pox scars, acne scars, several burn marks from not being careful in taking things out of the oven and a burn mark on my right wrist from when I was 4 and playing in my room, instead of napping, and burned myself on a light bulb–that one’s a long story….
I have many other scars that aren’t visible. Like most people, if not all, various great and small traumas broke my heart almost beyond recognition. Some wounds healed quickly and others took a long time. Some I should have gone to a spiritual ER–perhaps the emotional and spiritual scarring wouldn’t be as significant. With a few, I did go to a spiritual ‘doctor’ and she helped save my heart to break another day.
Looking at my scars, I think of Jesus and His scars. Does He despise His scars as much as I do some of mine? We are in the Lenten season, so I can’t help but think of His passion. We are His passion. His passion for us took Him up a hill, carrying His own cross on a bloodied, beaten body where He allowed all of the unworthiness of this world to pound spikes into His hands and feet and kill Him. He must have agonized over what happened, since He begged God not to make Him go through with it and sweated blood in the conflict of soul. But He did it anyway and He has the scars to tell that story. For more than 2,000 years, that story continues. We tell it every year at Easter. We tell it every year at Christmas. We tell it every time a church meets. We tell it every time friends pray together. We tell it and pass it on for other generations to proclaim. His wounds, scarred over, scream HE ROSE AND DIDN’T STAY DEAD!!!
I want scars that tell an everlasting tale without shame. I want scars that shout joyfully the reality that God heals, restores and makes ugly things beautiful beyond our wildest hopes. I want scars that resurrect hearts. I want the glorious scars. Am I willing to receive wounds that lead to those kinds of scars?