Your Scar Tells a Story: It’s a Reminder of a Time When Life Tried to Break You Down and Failed.
Those of you who are a bit older may remember the movie JAWS. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s about a shark. Those of you who have seen it, were you able to sleep afterward? In one scene, the men hunting the shark are sitting around on the boat at night, and they begin telling their stories about shark hunts past. Horror stories. And then they start showing each other their scars. I remember it as being an intense scene. I lost sleep.
Ever sat through a dinner or attended a conference or a retreat like that? The day’s program is over and folks are sitting around at night. Talking, laughing, sharing their stories… and their scars. I’ve seen it get pretty intense.
I’m not referring to hysterectomy, open-heart surgery, or c-section scars, although truthfully, some of that happens, too. I talking about, “My ex used to beat me and the kids” scars. Or “I was raped” scars. “My parents always said I messed everything up” kinda scars. Intense. This can keep us awake, too. Right?
All of us have scars. Perhaps yours are from a bike accident when you were young, an encounter with broken glass, or a life-saving surgery. It’s part of the human experience. Some people bear more scars than others while some bear scars that are far worse than others. Some scars remain painful to the touch, even after healing. Other times the injury that led to the scar damages the nerves leaving the area numb, with no feeling at all. But the scar IS progress. It’s evidence that there once was an open wound that isn’t open anymore. Whatever trauma occurred, it’s in the past. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have that perspective? That the scar is proof that the injury is in the past? It’s history. It’s behind you. But most of us just wish it would fade away. You don’t want to be reminded. So, you cover it with makeup or clothing. Some people get tattoos that camouflage their scars.
Can a scar become something beautiful?
After Googling a few images, I was amazed at how a skilled artist can transform scars into body art. God is the original artist. He is the first and greatest creator. And he can make our scars into something beautiful, too. I have some scars that I thought were way too ugly to share, but I took a chance and opened up to a small group of friends. My friends were not as shocked as I expected. They were not horrified as I had feared. They simply listened. It was very liberating. They pointed out that my compassion for people who are hurting is probably a result of my scar. If you’ve dared to share some of your scars with trustworthy friends, you understand what I’m saying. God took something ugly and made it something beautiful. Read Isaiah 61:1-3
Are you trying to hide your scars?
If you’re still hiding and covering your scars, imagine what a release it would be to find a friend who would listen, look, and love. Then ask yourself, “Am I that kind of friend? Am I a ‘safe person’ for others who need to share?”
Decide to be that safe person for others, and you will find your own safety. Think about how your scar has changed you for the better. Do you have the ability to spot others who bear similar scars? Look for opportunities, take a chance and you may soon find yourself sitting around sharing stories, like the men on the boat.
Look for the beauty God is bringing out of your pain.
God is first and foremost, a creator. He brings beauty from ashes. What is he creating in you? That is part of your story. Share that story with others. Tell them about the beauty that has come from your pain. We all bear scars. Help others find their beauty, too. Look for it.
One day, not too long from now, we’ll all see Jesus face to face. And guess what? He has scars. Beautiful scars.
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