At youth group on Wednesday night, we talked about scars. There are physical scars that we all have, scars that open the door to some pretty amazing stories. Stories about falls in the shower that ended with a face plant on the side of the tub and a gash in the chin. Or a cool trick on a skateboard that turned out to be a not so cool trick. Maybe a story about being so excited about getting asked to prom your junior year by the cute cross country runner that you ran down the hallway, grabbed the door frame to swing around and accidentally cut your wrist. (Not saying that last one actually happened or anything but if you want to see the scar ….)
Physical scars don’t usually hurt. Sometimes the memories associated with them do but physical scars often just remind us of a pain that we once felt, a wound we once suffered. The multiple scars I have don’t hurt in the least.
Emotional scars are another story entirely. Everyone has emotional scars – scars representing deep wounds in our hearts, our minds, our souls. They take so much longer to heal and they are infinitely more fragile than physical scars. The slightest word, sight or thought can rip them open again and the pain feels like the first infliction. And because they often aren’t visible, it is easier for us to cover these scars and pretend like they aren’t really there – that everything is fine. Just as a physical wound festers and gets worse the longer it is ignored or buried, so do our emotional wounds. They begin to eat away at us inside and ooze into every aspect of our lives – our thoughts, our spirit, even our physical body.
Scars are a part of our story. But they don’t have to BE our story.
Easter is a story of scars – scars in wrists and feet, in brow and side. Scars that tell a story of love and sacrifice – love for you, sacrifice for us. Scars that were freely received so that we might freely live – victorious over, rather than enslaved to, our own wounds and pains.
Part of writing a better story is removing wounds from the leading role in our lives. They are supporting roles – nothing more.
May we find the courage this Holy season to share our scar stories with the One who already knows and understands. May we find the courage to deal with the scars that we have not allowed to heal and experience freedom from the wounds of our past and the wounds that have yet to come.