Scars

Photo by Jandré van der Walt on Unsplash

I have spider and varicose veins on my legs. They are not horrible but I’m little self-conscious about them. So I wear a lot of leggings and tights, even in the summer.

I also have a scar on my forehead where I did have stitches. That’s what happens when an 18-month old moves too fast on chubby little legs. When I was younger we covered it with bangs. Now that scar blends in with the natural wrinkles on my forehead {giggle}.

The scars inside hurt the most. The lover leaves, a trust is broken, or a loved one leaves us behind. These are a few of my personal inside scars. At the beginning the inside wound shows. We blink back our tears and our hurt is evident on our faces. Our moods become mercurial, at least mine do when I am hurting.

The emotional wound begins to heal. We settle into a new normal. The people around us relax. Many, except for the few really close to us, forget the wound takes a long time to heal as a scar in our soul begins to form.

The healing can cause the scar to hurt as the flesh of our soul mends itself together. Sudden tears may prick the eyes or a feeling of sadness overwhelms the senses. Sometimes the healing takes a long time.

My sister died thirty-six years ago. On the anniversary of her death I still feel a slight melancholy. I called this day the worse day of my life. Because it was; I healed but the scar remains. The scar is not visible to those around me. But every once in a while I rub the scar and remember the pain.

Jesus was left with scars. The scriptures describe Jesus showing the scars in his hands and his side to the Apostle Thomas (John 20:26-28). I love Thomas. I am a questioner by nature. I am known for my “Yes, but…” statements. It means I understand or agree but I have questions.

The Apostle Thomas is my “Yes, but…” example in scripture. Today my attention is zeroed in on what Jesus does with his scars. I got to thinking about His scars this week when I saw a painting of Jesus and Thomas on an EWTN show. Jesus was stripped to the waist. His hand extended to show the wicked puncture scar in his hand. Our questioning hero Thomas reached to touch the scar in Jesus’s side where he was pierced by the sword.

What struck me is Jesus was stripped to the waist. I never thought about it. But for Jesus to show the scar from the spear and for Thomas to place his hand in the scar, Jesus would have had to physically uncover the scar. It is not a natural thing to uncover a scar. As humans we tend to cover them, like my tights, leggings, and bangs. To uncover a scar for all to see uncovers vulnerability.

So just what did Jesus do here? He used his physical scars to heal his disciple’s grief and doubt. Healing Thomas was more important than appearing as the supreme God He is. Jesus will do what needs to be done to draw us close. He knows our hearts. He does not let us go. He provides the means to heal our wounds small or large.

This is just one example of Jesus’ healing with his scars. Isaiah foresaw the beating the Messiah received before the crucifixion. According to this passage we all receive healing through the scars of his beating by mortal men:

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon him, And by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 NKJV)

This scripture was written long before the Messiah came to us here on earth. Yet the prophecy is in the past tense except for one phrase. “And by His stripes we are healed.”  The death of our Messiah was one event in time but, the healing from his scars is for all time. Those of us in the past, present, and future, we are healed by his stripes, scars, wounds, whatever you call them.

When you think about scars it is rather gory. But all things bitter (scars), God turns sweet (healing). I find hope in the scars. It is the hope of healing. It is the hope of a God that truly cares for me and my little struggles.

The scars remain. But we have a choice. By letting the wounds heal the scars can remind us to have empathy and compassion for our fellow man. Or we can continue to rip open the wounds; the scars grow larger and harden our hearts.

It was only a matter of days when the resurrected Jesus found Thomas. Jesus’ mortal wounds were healed into scars. He uses those scars to heal Thomas and us. Let’s find good ways to heal others with our scars.

God bless you with hope and peace today,

Milly

P.S: Just a gentle reminder, I am not a theologian by any stretch of the imagination. This is merely my humble interpretation at the moment. I am just applying what I’m learning in the present situation. Thank you for your indulgence.

P.P.S: With this post I hope to get back to my regular schedule of posting twice a week, Sunday/Monday and Wednesday/Thursday. 

 

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