Most, if not all of us, have at least one. Some are very visible to the public’s eye; others are visible only to us personally. Some may not be visible at all. Scars—I am talking about scars. Webster defines “scar” as “1. A mark left on the skin following the healing of a surface injury or wound. 2. A lingering sign of damage or injury, either mental or physical.” Scars are a hazard, if you will, of living. Each and every scar has a story to tell. My scars have their stories to tell, just as your scars have their own personal story.
The stories of our physical scars are sometimes easier to tell than our internal scars. They, too, have their stories to tell, but often times are far more painful, because they are mental, emotional, or spiritual, and these scars do not heal quite so easily. The pain from these kinds of scars does not evaporate as quickly, or maybe, the pain never goes away.
These scars are often the result of someone we once trusted betraying us in some fashion and leaving us scarred for life. I am sure most, if not all of you, have these kinds of scars, as well, with their own story to tell.
Tragically, we often allow our scars to define who and what we are. Scars paint with an awfully broad brush, coloring our whole world… coloring our whole world with fear, anger, resentment, and low self-esteem and self-worth.
The scar of grief often robs us of a joy-filled life. The scar of divorce or betrayal robs us of trust and fills us with fear of loving again. The scars of abuse, physical and/or verbal, often leave us struggling to find ourselves. The laundry list of scars and their stories goes on and on.
What I wish to convey to you in this pastor’s letter is the importance of allowing scars to define us; not our scars however, but the scars of Jesus. Jesus's scars have their own story to tell.
A poet, looking at a painting of the hands of Jesus, wrote:
They nailed those beautiful, blessed hands to the cruel, bitter cross.
And there in agony untold, He bore our shame and loss.
Beautiful hands of Jesus!
I hope someday to see.
On that first Easter morning, Peter and John gathered with the other disciples in the Upper Room to talk about the empty tomb and the “possibility” of the resurrection. As they were talking, Jesus came and stood among them. They were frightened, but Jesus reassured them by showing them his scared hands and feet.
Jesus’s scars tell a love story. His scars reveal how much you and I are loved by our Creator.
Scars are reminders that we have been wounded in our living. So it is with the scars of the living Christ, but they tell so much more. He makes himself known to us through the scars of his woundedness and reaches for us where it hurts, inviting us to believe and to see ourselves through His scars, leaving each of us as victors, not victims.
May your Easter be blessed!