I have a scar on my pinky finger from childhood. Me on my bike versus the mailbox at the end of our driveway = victory on the mailbox’s part. You can’t see it unless I point it out. The one on my knee? It’s minor as well. It’s from a similar accident with that bike and our driveway. Two scars, from doing something I absolutely loved to do-ride that beloved hot pink Mongoose.
You’d think that having two pretty bad, scar-inducing accidents on that bike that I would have stopped riding or not recall it with such fondness. But I do. 28 years after getting that bike it evokes such memories, such fun and carefree moments that were childhood.
“On the last day, Jesus will look us over not for medals, diplomas or honors, but for scars.”
Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust
When I read that I couldn’t help but think about my scars, the one on my pinky, the other on my knee, and the countless ones I have within me. Scars that often don’t evoke memories of fun, carefree moments but of past hurt, pain, life catching me by the hand and taking me to the ground. These scars are often very personal and remind me of struggles, whether with people or with God. Ones that I try to cover and shield from everyone, I blot over with smiles and cheerfulness, adding another coating of balm to hope it’s not seen by anyone.
Yet, He sees. He knows. He wants to see them. It’s those scars, those times where it cut the deepest that He was the healer. Did I always seek Him out first to heal? Nope. I take the good stuff to Him, like a child saying, “Look what I did! Look!!” But that’s all in me, in what I try to accomplish and not about Him and what He has said He will do.
But these scars? They are what He has placed His hand on, to work in and through. It’s how the story of Him gets told through me. It’s where He lives, in the deep wounds, to be a salve, a balm to a weary, heavy-leaden soul bound up with alot of false band-aids. He’s more about the scars than we think.
When He appeared to the disciples following the Resurrection, He didn’t come in a booming celebration with trumpets and honors. He appeared in the room with them. What does He say to them? In Luke 24 we see Him ask why they are troubled, why doubts are coming to their minds.
And then….y’all, and then He shows them His hands and feet. He shows them the scars. God Personified, perfect in all things, carries the scars of love, of sacrifice, of redemption. He showed them what it looked like to bear this out in life. It brings scars, but we show them. We share them.
We are told to be image-bearers of Christ, to be like Him in mind and heart, and this holds true here too y’all, and I have missed it all these years. We bear scars as He does. Only we cannot heal ourselves, we cannot redeem them for Him. He does that. He shows us that scars tell the story of love, redemption, sacrifice. They tell His story, if we allow them to, if we show them.
He graciously showed Thomas His scars as proof of Who He was (John 20:24-29) when He didn’t need to. May we bear our scars as proof of Who we belong to, Who He says we are…redeemed, loved, His.