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Monday, July 19, 2010

Scars

Thirty + years is ample time to collect a few scars. In this case, I’m talking physical ones, the kind you can see on your skin.

Every once in a while, I’ll notice one of mine and remember how I got it, the story behind the mark.

Of course, the memory involves some kind of pain, or else I wouldn’t have the scar.

But I learned a lot of lessons racking up those scars.

And I also smile when I think of each event because they still inspire nostalgia.

For example, I broke my arm in third grade. There’s a little ripple across my wrist where the playground asphalt caused an abrasion on my skin. Looking at it makes me think of my elementary school friends, the good doctor who fixed the bones in the growth plate of my arm, my friends signing my cast but only after I served as flower girl in a wedding until which I had to keep the plaster clean and sparkling white. These and other memories of that time in my life bring smiles as well as stir gratitude. I mean, my arm kept growing at a normal rate, which had been a concern at the time. To say I’m thankful is an understatement!

Each scar brings up similar nostalgic thoughts.

Skimming the top layer of skin along my shin the first time I shaved my legs.

Flipping over the handlebars of my bike when I was in sixth grade, scuffing up both knees.

Gouging a chunk of skin out of my knuckle while tugging on a difficult lock to escape the bathroom stall in my college dorm.

Wearing flip-flops to the zoo in southern Louisiana and paying for it with several fire ant bites in between my toes.

Suffering through a massive case of poison ivy – yea, so bad that it left scars. (Come to think of it, no pleasant memories associated with this one… but I did learn a thing or two. J )

Despite wearing tennis shoes this time, gaining more fire ant bites on my ankle while watching hundreds of bats fly out from underneath an Austin, TX bridge at dusk.

So, although unsightly and imperfect, the scars I’ve received sort of tell my story, in part at least, and serve as reminders to be thankful for the life God’s blessed me with, the health He’s granted, and for all the times He’s healed me, protected me, brought me through a difficult circumstance.

I realize some may have scars more horrendous and damaging than a minor bike ride accident or novice shaving mishap. Being thankful for those, I imagine, would be infinitely more difficult, the lessons harder to swallow. And of course, all of this can apply to emotional scars as well. I don’t mean to say that I rejoice in the pain or suffering from wence these scars occurred.

But God’s kindness surrounds us in any and every circumstance, even the most devastating. He’s also given us hope for the future, mainly Heaven, where all the tears and sorrow and suffering will vanish as if they never existed.

If anything, our scars can help us look forward rather than dwell on a painful past.

I wonder, though, if our resurrected bodies will still bear the scars of our time on earth? Jesus still had His scars from the cross after He rose from the grave.

While some may cringe at such a thought, perhaps, since the pain and sorrow will be vanquished, that the scars left will only produce the gratitude and remembrance of God’s goodness, kindness, protection, mercy and love.

That may be why Jesus’ scars remained, I don’t know.

What do you think?

Scars or no scars, if you are suffering in any capacity, remember to look forward to the time when every tear will be wiped away. Jesus loves you so much, He bore the scars, so that you can live forever without the pain. Knowing and believing that generates hope.

And hope does not disappoint.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Rom. 5:3-5

Be blessed. And thanks for spending a part of your Monday with me here on Dry Ground.

(photos by photobucket.com)

2 comments:

lynnrush said...

Great post.

It's funny you talk about scars here. We do all the time in my family. Probably since we're all fairly active and have our share of them.

It's fun...I know I'm sick...to sit at think about those. Sure, they were painful, but now that I look back on them, I just chuckle at how stupid I was or whatever.

But the main scars I care about and are grateful for are the ones on Jesus' hands.

Great post.

KM Wilsher said...

Love this. . .it gets me thru the day sometimes: And hope does not disappoint.

I've felt emotions this summer that I haven't felt in some time. . .some due to joy, some due to excitment, some due to scars. . .

Nice post! And as always well timed.

The days are brighter for me recently and Dry Ground helps that Son shine thru :)

rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope