Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Thinking About: Scars

The Barefoot Hippie(s) survived (sometimes I think barely) 2016.

And we’ve got the scars to prove it.

LC has an inch long scar on her left bicep, from where she had a lump removed last May. It was a simple surgery, but when the lump was removed, it proved an anomaly. After weeks of testing at various labs, the report came back that it was a cellular neurothekeoma. Very rare, and thankfully, benign.

BMV has a scar on his scalp. From that day in 2016 that he decided to jump in the basement and knocked his head on the support beam. Gushing blood. His scar is there, buried under a ton of hair.

I have an almost six inch scar on the outside of my left knee. It reminds me daily of how vital knees are to life, and how fragile they are. The torn LCL, plus the achilles tendon ripped off bone in two places. Surgery, recovery, rest, and rehab, that lasted months and months.

Meres has a rather small, one and a half inch, scar on her chest, right above her heart. It is still a vivid red, because the original cut was made to place her port, and then a second cut was made to remove it almost six months later. She has another scar that isn’t obvious and is considerably smaller, but with far more serious ramifications. I’m thinking of the scar on the stump of her optic nerve, where her eye used to be.

So many scars.

Scars tell stories. They tell of pain. Always. There is not a scar that doesn’t represent some level of pain. They tell of battles fought and won (or lost, for that matter). Scars often are the original wound, but just as often, they signify the first step to the healing process.

Scars fade, but never fully disappear. They become an integral part of our framework. They might be invisible to most onlookers, but we can always put our finger on them.

Scars don’t necessarily make us who we are, but they do represent who we are, and they point to where we have been and what we’ve survived.

When I see my family’s scars, I see progress made. I see healing. I still see the painful journey, the poignance of which will lessen as time goes by. In time, these scars might become a badge of honor. “Look what we’ve been through and what we’ve become because of the journey.”

When I reflect over my family’s scars, I can’t help but thinking of another set of scars. These scars don’t belong to me. They belong to my Savior.

There are scars in both of His palms, through the tendons and bones, to the back of His hand. There are similar scars on His feet. On the slope of his foot, through to the sole. These four scars are distinct. At least the size of a quarter. They are very obvious. These scars are from the nails pounded through His hands and feet. The spikes that held Him to the cross.

There is the scar in His side, between or under the ribs. This scar a drastic scar, ragged edges and deep. Inflicted by a Roman soldier’s spear. Healed, but visible.

There are the scars on His head from the crown of thorns. A unique pattern of scratches and punctures that encircles the head, buried in the hair-visible on the forehead. 


There are the scars on His back. His back that was plowed like a field. Whipped with leather embedded with bits of glass and metal. Deep furrows, healed to the trademark smooth texture of scars. 

So many scars. Horrific pain and suffering.

For me.

I get a little choked up when I think about my family’s scars.

Contemplating Christ’s scars does a bit more than choke me up. It brings me to tears.

He was wounded for our (my) transgressions, He was bruised for our (my) iniquities, the chastisement of our (my) peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we (I am) are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

So costly. But, what a result!

I wonder if, when Christ catches sight of His scars, does He think of me? Of you? Of believers and unbelievers both?

Before the Throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea,
A Great High Priest whose name is love, who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands, my name is written on His heart,
I know that while in heaven He stands, no tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of my guilt within,
I will look up and see Him there, who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free,
For God the Just is satisfied, to look on Him and pardon me. 

Behold him there! the risen Lamb, my perfect, spotless righteousness;
The great unchangeable "I AM," the King of glory and of grace!
One with himself, I cannot die, my soul is purchased by his blood;
My life is hid with Christ on high, with Christ my Savior and my God.
-Charitie Lees Bancroft

What I am absolutely confident of, is that when Christ sees His scars, there is no regret.

who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)

His scars tell the story of propitiation. His scars tell of battle won and the victory gained over sin, death and hell. Christ’s scars tell the price of my healing and are the proof of my redemption.

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my heart, my life, my all.