Scars are on and all around me. Maybe you can say the same.
There’s the one on my forehead near the hairline. When I was 5, it was located right above my eyebrow, but as I grew, it migrated upward. (I’ve since learned that this is common with childhood scars in that area.)
Truthfully, getting that scar taught me a lesson. I got the wound when I disobeyed Mama and ran while I was inside the house – and head butted the sharp corner of a door. Turns out Mama actually knew what she was talking about. To this day, when I see that scar, I’m reminded of my gentle mother’s efforts at guidance, which I gleefully ignored to my own peril.
Then there’s the scar on my knee. Probably, the big tear in my skin should have had stiches, but Mama thought it best to let it heal on its own. In contrast with my eyebrow injury, I did absolutely nothing to bring this about. For absolutely no reason, one of the boys in my fifth-grade class pushed me down on the sidewalk as we were walking to the school lunchroom. I’ve never, ever understood why he did that.
And there’s the virtually imperceptible scar in the palm of my hand from where, as an adult, I had surgery for my trigger thumb. The doctor aligned the cut – and the subsequent scar – with one of the lines that already existed in my hand and, frankly, I can’t find it at all now.
Kind of like the scar with the two tracks on my cheek that came from the cat I was attempting to pet when someone spooked it. As the years have passed since that childhood trauma, those tracks have become almost unnoticeable among other signs of aging on my face.
Then travel down to my big toe, and there’s a reddish spot that’s gradually fading and moving toward the toe’s tip – a leftover from a dropped can of tomato soup. Eventually, the spot will vanish all together.
Of course, all the scars I’ve accumulated aren’t on my body. There’s the dirty-looking little gouge in our kitchen floor that just won’t go away. It came via a broken dish resulting from a temper tantrum that someone once had. (Note: She is not proud of this visible piece of her life’s history.)
Other scars are invisible to the naked eye, but just as real. They’re psychological – and I think we all have those in one way or another.
So from my vantage point, I see a host of scars, some resulting from my own shortcomings and some through no fault of my own, but each one is something I can now deal with. As I said above, maybe you see scars, too. (Actually, I must admit: The ones I cited regarding myself are very small, but they serve to make my point.)
Jesus said we would have trouble in this world – and He knows all about trouble. The scars on his hands and feet verified that. What’s more, He had emotional wounds – being deserted and betrayed by family and friends and much, much more.
Remember one of the first things He did after the resurrection? He showed his disciples his scars. “Look at my hands and feet,” He says in Luke 24:39.
Isaiah 53:5 says, “He was pierced for our transgressions … and by his wounds we are healed.”
With Jesus, no wound is so massive that it can’t be cleansed and restored. The cross is a message of hope.
If you have scars, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you. It means He has something far better on the other side of your pain. As is often said, our pain has a purpose. Jesus’ scars tell you that on the other side of hardship, there can be healing.
Sallie Rose Hollis lives in Ruston and retired from Louisiana Tech as an associate professor of journalism and the assistant director of the News Bureau. She can be contacted at email@example.com.