It is virtually impossible to go through this life without any scars; we have all, at one time or the other, been wounded by life. Some of us have the badges outside where people can see them and for others, these wounds are buried so deep inside they have not even had the opportunity to heal. Some of these wounds were inflicted on us by other people while some were self-inflicted. Whichever the case – whether people or self inflicted – they hurt.
Most wounds eventually heal. Not all. But most. Still, while they heal and may not hurt anymore, the memory of the pain may still be as fresh as though the wound were still bleeding.
These scars could come from a variety of wounds: a broken home; a relationship gone bad; a bitter divorce; a betrayal, loneliness…whatever the source, I think wounds to the heart are the hardest to heal. Probably because the damage is internal and many times, difficult to detect so it festers. Also because many times, we cannot help prodding and poking at these wounds until they start to bleed again. And even when they do eventually heal, it takes some time for the scab to fall off. Needless to say, these scars are the evidence of life.
I have not been exempt from life, somehow in my short existence, life has managed to leave it’s mark on me. Although many of the scars were people-inflicted, the majority were self-inflicted. I got into things I should not have and read meanings that were not there into situations that did not exist. Real or imagined, these wounds hurt a great deal and I have the scars to show.
I went to Church recently and the Pastor decided to preach on scars. Well, not on scars exactly but they came up. He said a lot of things and I cannot put them all here (don’t ask me why). But something caught my attention. He was speaking about destiny and said we are all meant to be examples. He went on to define the Greek word for example which meant Tupos.
One of the meanings of the word Tupos is SCAR. So you get where I am coming from. This is what he said:
“Your scars can also be an example; There is something about what you are going through that will help someone”
That got me really thinking. It was one of those ‘Aha’ moments in my life. I have gone through some stuff that made no sense to me. I kept asking God, why He would allow someone He loves enough to send the only child He had to die for, to suffer like that. The whole thing was crazy! On an intellectual level, I knew and believed that all things happen for a purpose but when it came down and personal? I just felt tormented. Period.
But even though I grew up reading the Bible and I had read this countless times, when I heard again the way Jesus told Thomas, who had been doubting, ‘touch my wounds’ (John 20:27) I just melted. OK, He did not say that literally, but when a man tells you to put your finger into the wound at His side, I think that should qualify.
Jesus was also wounded, physically and emotionally. He was betrayed by those closest to Him; His friends deserted Him when He really needed them; even His father whom He was REALLY very close to, turned His back on Him. I cannot even begin to imagine how He felt hanging there on that cross, being given a criminal’s death, while His mother watched. Like being sentenced to death by hanging and your mum is just there, weeping helplessly and you know all you have to do is say one word and that torment will be over but you just can’t say anything. So you look on helplessly.
Jesus had to go through all that so we could identify with Him. For that moment, God turned His back on His son for our sakes yet He did not stop trusting in His father. At least we know that regardless of what we are going through, He is not going to turn His back on us. We have that assurance. Whatever we are going through cannot be as bad as what Jesus went through for us.
In the same way, we need to embrace our scars. They are like a signpost saying
IF I COULD GO THROUGH THIS, SO CAN YOU!
It gives meaning, it gives perspective to my own scars and even my wounds. It helps to know that all that madness was not someone’s idea of morbid humour. If I can help just one person stand because I fell, then the falling was worth it. If just one person is healed because I was injured, then the injury makes sense. No, I am not a saint. I will not willingly allow myself to be injured even if I know it will help someone. My pain threshold is remarkably low. But I will not prod and poke at my scars either, neither will I be ashamed of them. They are my testimony.