Can I Show You My Scars?


free_5037412Yesterday I was putting on my makeup. I was working to cover up a scar when I began to sense God speaking to me. I thought of my physical scars. The one I was “covering up” and the tiny little scars up and down my arms are from a car wreck when I was sixteen.  The big scars on my leg and shoulder are from motorcycle and bicycle wrecks. Yes, I had my own motorcycle for years! I have the scars to prove it!

I thought of how many times I have tried to hide my emotional scars resulting from “wrecks” in my life.  With each stroke of the makeup brush, God’s voice became clearer.

I thought of how children proudly show off their scars, comparing scars to gain the wow “prize” for having the biggest scars. Then my heart was saddened as I contemplated how childhood innocence fades away into grown up mindsets which teach us that scars are to be hidden.

Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. To prove his identity, he showed them his scars and invited them to touch the scars.

Can you imagine the moment?

The disciples have been through a week from hell, literally. Their leader has been openly crucified. They have all found themselves in failure having all deserted Jesus in one way or another. Their hopes and dreams seem dashed. Confusion reigns in their hearts. They haven’t slept much. Their emotions have taken the roller coaster ride from seeing the crowds yell “Hosanna” through the fear-filled days of being threatened if they were Jesus’ followers to hearing that the body of Jesus has been buried. Now they hear the tomb is empty and that Jesus has risen. Hope against hope tries to rise in their hearts but they are wounded, empty and emotionally spent.

Against this background, Jesus appears to them and says “Peace to you.” The battle between  the disciples’ spirits and souls raged. They were terrified, frightened, and confused even further.

And Jesus offered his scars as irrefutable evidence of his identity.

How painful the moment must have been for the disciples for those scars reminded them of their failure!  Yet how important it was for them to face the scars of Jesus, to deal with shame and guilt before they could go any further in their destiny and calling. Jesus offered them the one true way to deal with failure – through redemption. His life had been redeemed from the grave and he provided the key for the disciples to successfully deal with failure – his resurrection power.

Just as scars on our physical bodies were once wounds, all emotional scars were first wounded places in our souls. All wounds need to heal, whether it is the wounds we have inflicted upon others or our own wounds, and Jesus identifies with our woundedness, offering us healing through his “stripes”.

When Jesus offered his hands and feet as evidence of his identity, he was showing his disciples that he was healed from his wounds. I can’t help but wonder if in much the same way, we are to offer our scars to the world as evidence of our identity, our life story, and the healing power of Christ in our life.

Maybe that is the origin of the saying, “I have the scars to prove it.” Scars are the proof that at some point in our lives we were wounded and have now been healed.

Of course, before those wounded places are completely healed, it hurts when we touch them or someone accidentally brushes up against them. We can talk about our wound at that point, but we can’t really offer the pathway of healing yet. First, we must experience healing. 

Christ is referred to as “Our wounded healer”, and I believe that we also can become wounded healers.

And I am challenged. Am I willing to share my “scars” to prove my identity? Am I willing to allow God to use my scars to show others the path of redemption?

Just as I cover my physical scars with makeup, it is easier to just cover my emotional scars, hiding them from others, than to allow those scars to testify of my identity. Yet the power of redemption is available to others when I am willing to say “See my wounds, touch my scars” for when I do that, I  identify myself with Christ who redeemed my life, and I offer  to others the path to Christ, my wounded healer


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  1. Song says:

    I just finished reading A Mercy by Toni Morrison. I found an interesting quote about scars. “To be female in this place is to be an open wound that cannot heal. Even if scars form, the festering is ever below.” I don’t know if you’ve read this book, but taken in context this quote is amazing. It is made by a woman who has been through years of torment and abuse.

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