She sat down beside me in the dining room, running her fingers over a scar on her leg. “I love scars,” my 15 year old announced. I sat silently waiting for my deep thinker’s epiphany to tumble out. She pointed from scar to scar and explained the memories they evoked. She said, “Scars tell stories”. From bike chains to dog fangs, spills and falls, she shared the cause of each. The tales were part of my fair skinned girl’s story.
Scars make us wonder, they make us notice. Scars matter. At the Dairy Queen a lady stood at the other window. She was flawless from head to….ankle. Her ankle bore the scares of what appeared to be several surgeries and her strappy blingy sandals did not hide them. I wondered if she was a runner or soccer player or if she injured her ankle skiing or biking. What was the story behind her scar?
The scar conversation with my daughter weighed heavily as I pondered about the unseen scars in our lives. The wounds inflicted on our spirits, on our souls, on our hearts, on our minds. We all carry unseen scars that are perhaps to painful to share about.
The scars on my child’s legs and hands are evidence of healed wounds. What about unseen scars? Have they healed or has the world picked our scabs so much that our unseen wounds continue to fester and weep? Does she have unseen scars?
Unseen scars manifest themselves in various ways. People who lash out harshly, judge unjustly, withdraw, overmedicate, hibernate or live in fear might be the walking wounded, nursing scars that have yet to heal.
Recently, I encountered one of the wounded whose unseen scars compelled them to behave irrationally. The confrontation left me reeling and contemplating a well crafted, scathing and justified retort until my eyes fell upon a scar on my hand. Swallowing the words and stuffing my anger, the path of peace seemed to be more important than proving my case. Pondering the unseen scars that led to the raw anger gushed out took the focus off my wounds and put it on their unseen ones.
The bible says: “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,” Proverbs 16:32a Being slow to anger doesn’t come naturally to me. “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.” Proverbs 19:11
Ephesians 4:31 is pretty clear on how we are to handle others: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.” I’m still unsure of the fallout from the angry encounter but one thing is pretty clear when I pray about it. “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” – Exodus 14:14.
“I see it on the cross
The nails You took for me
Scars can change the world
Scars can set me free”
Mandisa – “What Scars are for”
I see scars differently now. I see them as reminders of healing and restoration. Like the scars Christ bore for us that we might be healed and restored. It’s the unseen scars, the scars still healing that I’m trying to focus on. Scars tell stories. When offended, I guess the important thing is to rest in our defense, the one the Lord promises. To lay the offense at His nail scarred feet. Let His scars change your world.
POINT TO PONDER: Do your scars seen or unseen make you retreat or lash out? Have you taken your wounds to the ONE who was wounded for us? His scars were for the sake of our healing and restoration what keeps you from laying them at his feet?