Looking at scars

Scars.

We don’t want them. We try our best to avoid them. To mend the cuts that leave them well enough that they are fine slivers of pink, barely acknowledging the pain that caused them. But, we manage to get them. And they serve as reminders, whether we want them to or not.

I was talking with a lady today about trust and commitment, about the scars that keep her leery and watchful, the scars that remind her to be wise and to be patient, and the lies that encourage her not to trust again. She wanted to know why? Why is it so hard to see past the scars? The answer – the pain from where the scars come, haunts us, and we never want to re-experience that pain. So, we guard it, we protect ourselves, we isolate ourselves, and we pray that we never walk that way again, always looking behind our back for the moment we will be tricked into the pit where our pain began. There is no joy in that. There is no hope in that. There is no freedom in that. That is right where our enemy wants us.

Friday my oldest was jumping on the trampoline in our backyard. Squeals of laughter and excitement suddenly turned into a scream and a torrent of tears. Unaware of a jagged piece of metal, she had ripped open a three inch hole in her leg. As a mom, I did my best not to freak out. It wasn’t the blood, there wasn’t much of it because of the way the cut happened, but looking at the hole all I could picture was the scar. I suggested an ER visit. Only stitches could pull together that kind of wound, the skin was pulling away instead of repositioning itself to close the wound. The blood had stopped but the wound was still gaping. I called in reinforcements, not trusting my own instincts. Everyone assured me that it would be okay. So, we bandaged it, and are still hoping for the best.

Why am I telling you this? All that day, Maddie looked at the trampoline, longing to jump again. She said, “If I had just been careful and watched what I was doing, I would still be having fun.” She pouted as she watched her little sister soaring through the air, care-free and gleeful, longing for that freedom and that joy. She remarked, “All I can think about is this wound, the feeling of the metal in my skin, and the pain. I can never jump again. And, I will always have this scar to remind me why.” (Did I mention she’s a little dramatic?) There was something about her comment that didn’t settle with me. I didn’t like the prison bars she was closing around herself. Never jump? That didn’t seem logical.

Scars.

They are reminders – of mistakes we made, or the mistakes of others, of the pain that we bore, and many of us have to look but once and we will feel that moment all over again. The fear stops our breath, reminds us of our failures, and the voice threatens us, “This will happen again.” So we isolate ourselves, and install bars around our hearts and minds, and all the while we notice the freedom that everyone else enjoys, knowing it can never be us. We messed up. We must pay. But where does this thought come from? Not from Daddy God. I was thinking this morning, about scars…about my pain and my shame and my guilt and my bars of protection…when God gave me a picture of His scars. You see, He has scars, too. And, there is a reason. When Jesus walked the earth after His resurrection, one disciple in particular was skeptical, Thomas, the doubter. So, Jesus, in order to convince him, offers, “Put your finger in the scars in my hands.” Jesus, the resurrected One, the transformed One, still has scars. Why?

God talks to me in pictures. So when He shows me things, we talk in order to understand them. (Who better to ask about the meaning of Life than the Creator of Life?) He showed me a scripture verse, one that I use often and share with girls that are struggling with self injury, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:16) Those are the Words of God of the Old Testament…both the God of the Old Testament and Jesus of the New Testament bear scars. And He says, “I bear these scars for you, and I will NEVER forget you.”Here is where I see the twinkle. (This is the picture I get when He has revealed something to me.) He spoke,

Scars.

We don’t want them. We try our best to avoid them. To mend the cuts that leave them well enough that they are fine slivers of pink, barely acknowledging the pain that caused them. But, we manage to get them. And they serve as reminders, whether we want them to or not.

I was talking with a lady today about trust and commitment, about the scars that keep her leery and watchful, the scars that remind her to be wise and to be patient, and the lies that encourage her not to trust again. She wanted to know why? Why is it so hard to see past the scars? The answer – the pain from where the scars come, haunts us, and we never want to re-experience that pain.  So, we guard it, we protect ourselves, we isolate ourselves, and we pray that we never walk that way again, always looking behind our back for the moment we will be tricked into the pit where our pain began. There is no joy in that. There is no hope in that. There is no freedom in that. That is right where our enemy wants us.

Friday my oldest was jumping on the trampoline in our backyard. Squeals of laughter and excitement suddenly turned into a scream and a torrent of tears. Unaware of a jagged piece of metal, she had ripped open a three inch hole in her leg. As a mom, I did my best not to freak out. It wasn’t the blood, there wasn’t much of it because of the way the cut happened, but looking at the hole all I could picture was the scar. I suggested an ER visit. Only stitches could pull together that kind of wound, the skin was pulling away instead of repositioning itself to close the wound. The blood had stopped but the wound was still gaping. I called in reinforcements, not trusting my own instincts. Everyone assured me that it would be okay. So, we bandaged it, and are still hoping for the best.

Why am I telling you this?

All that day, Maddie looked at the trampoline, longing to jump again. She said, “If I had just been careful and watched what I was doing, I would still be having fun.” She pouted as she watched her little sister soaring through the air, care-free and gleeful, longing for that freedom and that joy. She remarked, “All I can think about is this wound, the feeling of the metal in my skin, and the pain. I can never jump again. And, I will always have this scar to remind me why.” (Did I mention she’s a little dramatic?) There was something about her comment that didn’t settle with me. I didn’t like the prison bars she was closing around herself. Never jump? That didn’t seem logical.

Scars.

They are reminders – of mistakes we made, or the mistakes of others, of the pain that we bore, and many of us have to look but once and we will feel that moment all over again. The fear stops our breath, reminds us of our failures, and the voice threatens us, “This will happen again.” So we isolate ourselves, and install bars around our hearts and minds, and all the while we notice the freedom that everyone else enjoys, knowing it can never be us. We messed up. We must pay.

But where does this thought come from? Not from Daddy God.

I was thinking this morning, about scars…about my pain and my shame and my guilt and my bars of protection…when God gave me a picture of His scars. You see, He has scars, too. And, there is a reason.  When Jesus walked the earth after His resurrection, one disciple in particular was skeptical, Thomas, the doubter. So, Jesus, in order to convince him, offers, “Put your finger in the scars in my hands.”  Jesus, the resurrected One, the transformed One, still had scars. Why?

God talks to me in pictures. So when He shows me things, we talk in order to understand them. Who better to ask about the meaning of Life than the Creator of Life? He showed me a scripture verse, one that I use often and share with girls that are struggling with self injury, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:16) Those are the Words of God of the Old Testament…both the God of the Old Testament and Jesus of the New Testament bear scars. And He says, “I bear these scars for you, and I will NEVER forget you.” Here is where I see the twinkle. (This is the picture I get when He has revealed something to me.) He spoke, “Leslie, I don’t bear these scars out of fear or disappointment. I haven’t marked My body for you out of pain and regret. I love you. And I have engraved these scars on My hands because I want you to KNOW that I am aware of your scars…but in comparison, they are nothing in light of Mine. Mine are eternal, made before the mark of time ever stole the first second, and yours will be erased in the twinkling of an eye. They are merely marks of flesh…Mine are forever symbols of love.”

Then His question: “Do you trust Me?” Before I had the chance to answer, I heard peals of laughter coming from my backyard. I looked out my window and saw Maddie, smile shining, high in the air with freedom from fear etched on her face. I was so proud of her! No matter what her scar may look like in the years to come. She refused to let it hold her captive, and with one daring jump, she conquered fear! I was so proud of her! I relished that moment, delighted in her freedom, and I felt the Father’s heart – “This is where I want you! Not in the enemy’s clutches, watching your back, waiting in fear, but free and fearless! You don’t have to protect yourself…I AM protecting you!”

His voice echoed, “Do you trust Me?” I nodded my soul to Him, Him Whom I trust. His Light radiated with a smile, “Then, jump, My child.”

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