Beautiful Scars

Posted: May 24, 2012 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, Truth

My toe nail is black. Yes, literally, black. It happened five months ago now playing an alumni basketball game with my old high school team. I’m happy I at least injured it athletically and not by stubbing it on a stair. But, over the past several months, while I’ve been waiting for my toe to heal, I’ve done my best to cover up the “injury.” It isn’t something that’s terribly pleasant to look at so when I go out in flip flops, sandals, or bare feet, I’m careful to cover up that particular toe with a band-aid. When I forget, I just tuck that toe surreptitiously under my other foot. My “scar” isn’t something that I want to show off to the world because, frankly, it’s ugly and makes me look bad.

I think I sometimes do that with other areas of my life, though, too – not necessarily with physical scars, but with emotional or spiritual rough spots. I’m a perfectionist and, as such, I usually like to seem like I have it all together. I like to make it seem like I’ve got no problems, no flaws…like nothing bothers me.

But, not surprisingly, I’m human. I’ve had times of spiritual dryness, times when I’ve been hurt, times when I have been less than perfect. We all have these pockets of imperfections. But, like my toe, I think we often try to cover them up and make sure that no one can see them. That way, we seem whole, even if we are somewhat “broken” inside.

But I think this is a mistake. Our “scars” are a testament to who we have been and who God has made us today. Every physical scar comes with a story – like my little brother’s small scar above his eye where he got hit going up for a rebound in a basketball practice (yes, another sports injury). In the same way, our scars from our histories tell a story – and, for those of us who are Christians, a story of grace.

For example, when I was a freshman in high school, I went through a very difficult time spiritually and really began to question my faith. Am I proud that my faith waivered for a time? No. Do I love broadcasting the fact? No. But still, I’ll talk about it with my friends and I’ve written about it on this blog. Why? Because that “scar” – that rough time – points to God’s grace in my life and can be used to help others.

I’ve been able to relate to many of my friends who are doubting their faith because I’ve gone through it. I can talk to unbelievers about how God has changed my life because I can point to that time of doubt. I can be a testament to God’s grace by revealing that “scar.”

I know there are other areas of my life that can be witnesses to what God has done as well. There are things in my past that I may not be proud of, decisions that I regret, or experiences where I’ve been hurt. But by being open to using these experiences to  testify to God’s grace, these scars can be used by God…not band-aided over.

  1. nbarden says:

    Totally agree. Sometimes the reason God gives us a trial is so that we can be an encouragement to someone else who has gone through the same thing.

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