Before I start, let me address the big elephant in the room. The one that shouts loud and clear that I have failed incredibly at keeping this poor blog updated. Let me make my excuse Life is crazy. There, I said it. Please forgive me blog & bloggers. Now lets all move on, and hug.
It’s quite humorous how these posts come about. I promise you that it does not include me sitting down on the couch, opening up the laptop, and sitting for an hour trying to pull some sort of idea out of this head of mine. In fact, it is the very opposite. It could be while I am changing my two year olds diaper, or when I’m making dinner, or my personal favorite, at 2 AM while I’m trying to sleep. God speaks in many different ways. Open your heart, and listen.
This morning was like one of those moments. I was in the bathroom getting ready, while listening to my Laura Story Pandora station. My favorite these days. One of the songs that came on was a Point of Grace song. Ok, talk about old school. Are they even around anymore?! Anyways, after the shock wore off, I started to actually listen to the words. The first words I heard were, “Heal the wound but leave the scar”. What?! (I’m serious, I literally said that.) So then I proceeded to listen on. “A reminder of how merciful You are. I am broken, torn apart, take the pieces of this heart. And heal the wound, but leave the scar.” I was appaled! Don’t they know anything?! If God heals our wounds, so the pain & yuckiness is gone, and they don’t hurt as much, the scar still remains for all to see. Who wants an ugly scar?!
Believe me Point of Grace, I know a thing or two about actual scars. When I was two I was mauled on the face by a friends golden retriever, who really wanted a taste of the popsicle I was chowing down on. There was 4 different spots on my face that the doctors had to stich up. Leaving me looking absolutely unrecognizable. I remember my Mom telling me once that when she walked into the hospital room, she didn’t believe that the nurse brought her to the right girl. She didn’t know that was me. For years I was told that I would need plastic surgery, that I would never be the same. I still live with those visible scars everyday. And while most people may not even see them, I know they are there, and to me they are the most vibrant thing on my face.
So girls of Point of Grace, you are asking God to heal the wound, but leave the scars? And for that, I think you all are crazy. At least that was my fist reaction. I don’t want scars. If I have scars, people will see them. I don’t want people to know what I’ve been through! I don’t want people to ask why I have such a hard time with this or that. I don’t want people to know what my beautiful Redeemer did to heal me!
Oh. Wait a minute.
This is when things got good, friends. As I sat there wondering how they could speak those words to God, and not just ask for Him to take away any remembrance of all the hurt in life, I wondered what I have been asking God for all these years. Was I asking God to heal me completely, and take away all those scars, so I never, ever, ever had to think about them again? I was. I really was. And now I’m realizing that I was really, really wrong. Because if God healed all my wounds, and didn’t leave so much as a smidge of a scar, would I remember to praise Him for carrying me through? If He took away all my scars, would I have something to show others who just can’t see how mighty & good God is? That He can change the hearts of those that have gone through even the most tragic events. If we all have scars then how would we show the world that there IS a redeemer waiting to rescue His children!
Yes, scars can be the reminder of our worst times. Maybe it’s the reminder of a child lost, physical abuse, addiction, self-harm, anxiety, sickness, depression, no self-worth, a family member lost, sin. At first thought, who wouldn’t want those things wiped from our memory. Completely. I know I would. That’s why for years, and years I prayed that very thing. Maybe thats you too.
But, wait a minute. Think outside the box with me for a minute. What if our scars, the ones that make us feel, well, ugly. The very ones that cover us, and remind us of yuckiness, are the very ones that bring beauty. Could it be true? Could the grace of God really make our scars beautiful? Could something that hurt so badly, also show so much beauty, and truth, and redemption?
It can. They are beautiful.
In Galatians 6:17 Paul writes, “From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus.” (NIV)
Woah. Wrap your mind around that one folks. My scars, the ones I’ve been trying to hide for so long, show that I belong to the King of Kings, the Lord Almighty. Those scars show ownership. They say to people of all kinds, that there is hope. There is healing. There IS beauty in pain. Yes, scars show imperfection, and thats ok. No one, but our Sweet Savior is perfect anyway. Those beautiful marks are a testimony of pain, but healing came from the one true God, and now there is hope.
So, stop hiding them.
Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus speaks, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Don’t hide the story God has given you. No matter how big or small you may think it is. Let those beauty marks(scars) shine. Let the whole world be blinded by the works of our God! I’m speaking to myself here, friends. I try so hard to hide all that God has done, because I am either ashamed of the what those wounds were, or they are just to hard to share. Let’s move on together. Let’s shine our lights like never before. Let’s start showing those in the darkness that there is hope. There is a God who is willing to pour out His grace for them too. That no matter what they’ve gone through, or have done, there is beauty waiting for them.
Something I’ve always wondered, is if Jesus still has the scars from when He died for you & me on that cross. The scars that saved the whole world. If He walked on this earth right now, would He hide them? Would He be ashamed that he had to go through the worst pain imaginable? Now, I’m not saying our circumstances even come close to the power of that day. But just like His scars would point back to the cross, allow Him to point yours there too. Praise Him for them. Try thanking Him for them. There is healing in that. Stop being afraid to shine them, show the beauty, and see the lives He changes through them. If you’re just not there yet, I pray healing over you. I know how it takes time. Healing will come, but don’t be afraid of those scars. Oh dear Jesus, heal the wound, but leave the scar.
Here is a link to the song I was talking about. Excuse the cheezy video, and just listen.