Liz Benigno

a view from the porch

I'll Show You Mine if You Show me Yours

liz benigno5 Comments

Scars are strange things. They can be long, or short, or thick, or red, or smooth, or large, or barely there. Scars are either fresh and new and oh so noticeable, or old and worn with age. Wounds that were once gaping and painful, become scars covered by time. We can recall with vivid detail the cause of our scarring. A senior boy recently told me about the scar on his knee. He was in the 6th grade, the road was steep and it took a sharp turn. He flew over the handle bars and skidded on his left knee leaving him a physical memory of that "sunny, partly cloudy summer day." Scars make us remember. 

My scars are of the reddish, purple variety. New and still healing. They will be forever long and noticeable. I sometimes hate them and sometimes feel indifferent to them. My scars say, "Cancer". Senior Boy's scar says, "Wild, impetuous summer day". Yet, we both remember. He was afraid to ride his bike for awhile, but the memory faded enough to get back on. I asked him if he thought he would remember his scar when his own someday son was learning to ride a bike. He laughed at the thought and then said, "Probably." 

There are a few people who have asked to see my scars, but mostly people pull away, cringing at the thought of looking at the scars. At me. So, I feel afraid to let anyone see them. I don't want people to know I am scarred, marred in anyway. I want to hide them and pretend they aren't there. But, they are there. Very, very much there. 

Invisible scars on our souls are a lot like physical scars. Our soul scars can be big and ugly and easily opened back up, or they can be old timeworn wounds turned into almost forgettable blemishes.  Either way, they are there. Put there by our own foolish, regrettable choices or by the actions of others, or, by the hand of a sovereign God. Your parent's divorce, the disapproval of __________, the death of your spouse, the violent hand of __________, the decision to __________ and all its natural consequences. Illness. The list is long. And we don't want anyone to know, to see our disfigurement, to judge us by our scars, to cringe and pull away. 

May I suggest a super scary idea? Show someone your scar, whatever kind it may be. Find a person you trust, whose kindness and grace outweigh the fear of vulnerability. Allow Jesus to be the balm and salve to all your defects. Exposing our wounds and scars will turn them from raw and painful to smoothed over and soft.  And maybe, just maybe, even a scar that you will be someday grateful for.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3