We are talking during this month about scars. Boring? No. Scars play a huge role in our lives. Both the kind we see and the kind we don’t see. A simple definition? For the purposes of our conversation, these two will suffice.
1. A mark left on the skin by a wound, burn or sore where it has healed and filled in with connective tissue.
2. A lasting after effect of trouble, especially a lasting psychological injury resulting from suffering or trauma.
What happens when a person is wounded in some way? It all depends on how the wound is cared for. If a physical wound is cleaned out and pushed together tightly so it can heal from the inside out, to prevent infection, it should heal easily, and leave a small scar. That is why deep or jagged cuts are stitched shut from the inside out rather than simply pushed together. Often, the patient is started on an antibiotic if the wound was dirty…and most are!
But even when precautions are taken, infections can still occur.
Occasionally, antibiotics can clear them up, but often they must be drained and in worst case scenarios, the wounds have to be opened up, drained and slowly healed from the inside out. I have seen patients with those deep infections that take months for healing. The scars are huge. The toll it takes on the patient is huge as well. They are sick for a very long time. It is a miserable period of time for them. As the scar tissue fills in the gaping hole, they become more healthy. Well, it may be the other way around. As they become more healthy, they heal. The two work hand in hand.
They usually leave the hospital before they are completely well and they continue to heal at home, often with IV antibiotics. Bear with me as I go into some of this gory detail about healing and wounds. The fact is, I haven’t gone into the goriest of detail! Trust me.
There are many parallels with healing from mental suffering or trauma. If we try to pretend we didn’t have any and keep plowing on through life, we pay a heavy price! Sooner or later, it catches up with us. It may take a few months or a few years, but it catches up with us. We need to pay attention to what is happening and how it feels. I would say I’m a bit of authority on that. I spent years trying to ignore signs that some painful events in my life had had an effect on me. People around me encouraged me to spiritualize what was happening, categorize it into little boxes, stuff it away, distract myself from it and all matter of things…but one day, it all caught up with me. Chronic pain hit and the ensuing counseling was immensely helpful. Sadly, I had gotten into many very bad habits. It took a long time to learn how to have some balance in loving others and also in learning to take care of myself in a healthy way.
So what does this have to do with a blog about grace and people who are scared, overwhelmed or broken hearted?
Let’s start with the part about the grace of GOD!
I’ll start with the grace part. Jesus was willing to be scarred for us. He was the One who had never ever sinned in thought, word or deed. We were the ones who had failed to obey the 10 commandments…both the actual commandments and the spirit of the 10 commandments. As he summarized them in the New Testament, they are “You shall love the Lord your GOD with all your heart, soul and mind…and your neighbor as yourself.”
Who can say they have kept that command? I know I haven’t. But Jesus did. For the 33 years He was here on earth, He obeyed the Father completely…in thought, word and deed. Then He was betrayed by one of His apostles and killed on a cross. It was a death reserved for heinous criminals.
To make it worse, at one point during His death, when the sin of the world of past, present and future generations was put on Him, the Father had to turn away from Him. It was the first time in all of eternity that they had been separated. Jesus’ response was, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (cf. Mark 15:33-39) With that, the temple curtain was torn from top to bottom and He gave up His Spirit. Our access to the Father was opened up for the first time.
When Jesus rose from the dead, it was His scars He showed to the disciples as proof He was Jesus, the One who died for them. But also the One who had been with them for three years…teaching them, praying with them, living with them! They showed He was the One they knew was the Son of GOD.When Jesus rose from the dead, it was His scars He showed to the disciples as proof He was Jesus, the One who died for them. Click To Tweet
So this will end our meditation on scars today. Scars have a lot to do with grace. Jesus’ scars were proof that He was the One who died and paid the penalty for our sin. He didn’t deserve to die. He died in our place. He put Himself out for us in unimaginable ways! It was His willingness to leave heaven and come to earth and all its limitations that provided a way for us to relate to GOD! He took our sin upon Himself and paid for all of it that day!
The important thing to remember about scars is that there has to be a wound in order for a scar to develop.
Have this mind among yourselves,
which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and
bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Call to Action: Think of 1 or 2 areas where you have been wounded and are scarred. Most likely it is psychological, spiritual or emotional…or a combination of the three. Have you stopped to think about how you were wounded or traumatized? Have you discussed it with a wise counselor who can help you examine where you were wounded and how GOD and others can minister to you? Have you been able after looking at that, to see where GOD has been during your suffering? Talk to Him. Remember, this is a relationship.