Scars. We all have them. If you disagree with that statement, tip your head and take a look at your navel. Regardless if it is an innie or an outie, your belly button is a scar resulting from a wound on the day of your birth. According to Wikipedia, “A scar is an area of fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after an injury. It is the result of the biological process of wound repair. With the exception of very minor lesions, every wound results in some degree of scarring.”
Besides my belly button, I have other scars… two distinct marks run parallel to my spine carved by a surgeon’s scalpel, remnants of a 3rd degree burn coat the back of my leg, and a relic by my eyebrow occurred from the carelessness of my older brother. (I won’t name names J) Each scar has a story to tell. Some stories we enjoy retelling, while others we’d rather conceal. I know a young lady with scars on her legs and arms. She isn’t proud of them and doesn’t want anyone to know they are there. They are reminders of self-inflicted wounds to her body in an attempt to take away the pain of wounds to her heart.
Yes, some scars form on our skin and are very visible. Other times it’s our mind and heart that are affected. We are wounded within. And just as all people have a scar on their exterior, I think you would have a difficult time finding someone that hasn’t been wounded on the inside. As is evident in our society, some people’s hurts are still gaping open, gushing, or oozing, while others have allowed wounds to heal and scar over.
Scars seem ugly and we attempt to reduce their appearance, but if you think about it scars are really beautiful. Scars signify healing. While a wound shows evidence of an injury, often bloody and gross, scars only form after a wound is bound up and completely healed. And as a friend reminded me, “Scars only form on the living.” Let that sink in.
Isaiah 53 speaks of a Man, Jesus Christ, who bears the scars of a sacrificial wounding. “He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Jesus was wounded (flesh ripped open, body nailed to a tree, side pierced through) to bring healing and restoration and to bind up our relationship with God. Without Jesus’ wounds, we would never experience healing and right relationship with the Father.
Psalm 147:3 says, “He (the Lord) heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” I often have a picture in my mind of a doctor suturing a deep cut and wrapping gauze around the injury when I think about binding up wounds, but as I’ve been thinking about scars, these words are a beautiful picture of the healing and restoration that God does in our lives, even if it does leave a scar.
So tell me about your scars. Do you have battle wounds that you are proud of, souvenirs of a victory from the past? Marks that are thick with life lessons and transformation? Maybe your scars are buried deep within your soul and very few people, if anybody, even know about them. Maybe they are your own doing and are bound with shame, or maybe they are twisted with bitterness and unforgiveness. Or perhaps you have wounded another, left a decisive mark on their body… or their heart. Maybe you threw a punch, or shot careless words that pierced deep within. (If that’s you, I encourage you to take action to clean up your mess, and apply the healing balm of a humble apology and reconciliation.)
Whether you have been the wounded or the wound-er, make a choice today to allow Jehovah-Rapha, the God Who Heals, to bind up your wounds and bring complete healing to your body and your soul. Your scars are proof that God heals. So don’t be embarrassed about them, tell their story and tell of the amazing power of God’s healing in your life.