Scars tell a story. Some scars tell a humorous story from a misadventure during our days of youth. We love to retell these stories and hear others laugh and enjoy our misfortunes of old. Some scars mark the passing of a milestone such as the first skinned knee, first bike wreck, or first attempt at shaving. Some scars tell a sad or shameful story of loss and pain. The public easily views some scars while others are covered by our attire or makeup. Most of the scars we carry are not visible on the outside but they are real nonetheless. These scars are the wounds of the spirit or soul. So, what is the purpose of having these physical, emotional and spiritual scars? Scars can be a reminder of a lesson learned. I have large 50-year-old scar on my right hand that taught me and reminds me not to play with fire. Scars can be a reminder of a trial that was overcome. You may have a scar from a past surgery that reminds you of the strength that was required during your rehab. Several years ago, if you had bi-pass surgery then you would have been left with a very long scar running down your leg. I have heard many people refer to this as the “zipper club” and you could only “join” if you had the scar to prove it.
I know someone who has a very visible birthmark on her face. It is not the result of any action taken by her. It did not come through an accident or by the hands of someone else. She was born with this special mark. Professionals have informed her that the removal of this mark could be accomplished with ease but she has declined. She does not attempt to cover up this birthmark with make-up nor does she carry any shame or discomfort with its display. When asked why she has not removed this mark she declares “God gave me this mark to remind me that I am special and unique and there is no one else like me in the world.” Why can’t we all deal with our own scars or marks with the same attitude.
As we walk through this world we will be emotionally and spiritually wounded. I believe we would all choose a different path where there were no wounds, hurts or pain but it does not exist. We can, however, choose how we deal with these wounds. When we take those wounds to our heavenly Father, He turns them into a scar that makes us unique and special. It doesn’t matter the origin of these scars. They could be self-inflicted through acts of our own rebellion. They could be the results of mistreatment by others. They could also be, just as my friend with the birthmark, be through God’s permissive will. We don’t have to create our own restricted “zipper club” for people who have been wounded just like us. We don’t have to cover them up with fake façade or super religious rhetoric. The scars of life will change you but through God’s hands the change is one that proves His unique relationship with us. It is a relationship that centers on His unchanging love, mercy and grace.
The next time you are tempted to medicate, cover up or run away from your spiritual and emotional wounds, just remember God has a plan to turn them into something very unique and special for you.