“The wounds of Jesus are a scandal, a stumbling block for faith, yet they are also the test of faith. That is why on the body of the risen Christ the wounds never pass away; they remain, for those wounds are the enduring sign of God's love for us.”
During my last 3 weeks of studying abroad in Italy, I had run out of money, had no more classes to attend, and I lost all interest for museums. So I did what most 21-year old’s would do in that situation, I sat in parks and piazzas drinking beer with friends. I also caught a lot of rays. I became so tan that many back home didn’t recognize me at first and I earned the tagline of "intriguingly Mediterranean" that summer. I thought it was glorious. This week, as I stared in the mirror at the set of stitches under my eye that remain after the dermatologist removed some skin cancer, I wondered if those glory days were really all that glorious. Embarrassingly, greater than my concerns for the cancer were the concerns for my vanity. As my children stared at my bruised post-op face, I asked, "Does it look that bad?" Sensing my concern, my wife said, "Don’t worry, they say chicks dig scars."
As I googled "ways to reduce scarring" my internet rabbit hole eventually led me to prayers to heal wounds and quickly a repeated theme came up in my search – "Jesus digs scars." I began to review the other scars I have – the one when I was a four, or the one on my knee from when I tried to jump off a curb on my bike 30 years ago. Every scar told a story. Each had a lesson and those lessons inevitably led me to the reflect on the invisible scars, the heartbreaks, the disappointments, the broken relationships, the poor decisions. What struck me about this stroll down scar memory lane was that for the most part they were healed, and the skin was tougher, my mind was sharper, and my heart was stronger. I so often pray for wounds to be healed, but how often do I give thanks for the scars, the evidence of the wounds that have healed? How often do I thank Jesus for bearing His wounds on the cross and the wounds inflicted by my sins? Perhaps being scarred for life isn’t the worst thing if it leads me to remember the life He gives me. Prayers for any wounds of yours that need healing.