I have scars. You probably do to. Scars link our memory to our pain.
I have this one scar on my left thumb. It causes me pain after 35 years. I was barely 5 years old, playing in our yard. I had a Coke bottle and all I remember is banging it on a rock. All of the sudden there was blood flowing and then we were driving. My next memory is being in a room in the clinic. A doctor came in~ my mom called him and intern and later she was none-to-pleased with him as he came into the room with a large needle…larger than my thumb. I screamed and fought. My next memory is a nurse bandaging my thumb in layers and layers of gauze~ doubling, tripling and beyond, the size of my wounded thumb. The scar, when rubbed now causes me pain. The damage was severe and severed my nerves and it never did heal properly.
My sister has a scar on her cheek. It is from my nail, digging into her. A fight. Sibling rivalry. And forever, she bares the scar and the memory. We laugh about it now and it is part of who she is.
My oldest child has a similar scar on his cheek but it is from his own fingernail. At 10 days old he, a newborn and me , a new mom had no clue the damage a tiny, soft nail could do. The scab lasted for days and ultimately I knew that this would be his first mark of sin~ sin scars. Pain is the penalty of sin. Even a newborn baby cannot escape it.
One of my girls has chicken pox scars on her face and chest~ she had it the worst at 5 months of age. The memory of that time is impossible to forget when I see her beautiful face each day.
Each of my kids have battle wounds~ accidents, arguments, injuries. Each tied to a story, an event, a memory.
My husband wins the race for the biggest, scariest scar in our family. His is more than 10 inches long traveling from his breast bone down past his navel. 33 staple holes marking the scar like a railroad track. It is a reminder for him and for me of the time he nearly passed from this world to the next. It is also a testimony to the saving grace of a God who protects and watches over us.
And me? Well, besides my thumb and the ill-fated attempt at slicing a watermelon for my husband’s 30th birthday(it’s a nasty scar too), I have a few random battle wounds and one very special scar. It is a scar that my children have never seen but have all received the gift of life by it’s very existence. I’ve had 4 c-sections and each time the doctors have used the same path, marked out by the scar of the first time~ the birth of my son 16 years ago. It’s a scar that holds memories of terror and worry but ultimately it brings me joy. If there was ever a scar to be proud of , it is this one. Yes , it has caused me much physical pain and yes, the healing of it has been difficult. But there is nothing that I would trade it for. I have earned every stitch and every staple. I have reaped more joy from that scar than I could have ever imagined. But still, it is a scar that should not be there. But, as my doctor once told me, that scar has given me life and given my children life. If it were not for that scar, I would be dead.
The only scars better than mine are the scars in the hands and feet of Jesus. I find it interesting that the Healer would choose to keep His scars. After all , when He healed, he did so miraculously and there were no marks left. He is the Great Physician~perfect and pure, blameless and void of sin. So, if sin scars it is interesting that He chose to hang on to the reminder of the sins He bore~ the weight of the world’s afflictions upon His body. But I guess that is the point~ the reminder. The Jewish people needed to know who their Messiah was~ they needed the proof. And soon, when He returns, the world will need to see the scars, just as Thomas did. Thomas, the only one of the disciples who asked the question that no other dared ask…he asked for proof and he sunk his own hand into the holes in the hands of Jesus. Maybe he was mocked, maybe he was rejected by his friends but he set the record straight for generations to come~ the scars are real.
Scars can be good~ they show us what we’ve come through.
Scars can be bad~ they remind us of our pain.
Scars can be accidental or self-inflicted. They can be necessary or mistakes. Whatever the case, they link our memories to our human-ness. We are not immortal….yet. We are journeying through the harshness this world doles out~ physically and emotionally. Some day, the Healer will come and redeem all of our scars. We will receive new bodies and every scar and blemish will be gone. Oh Glorious Day!