Updated: Jun 17, 2021
The beauty of a scar.
I know it sounds counter intuitive to say, but there is beauty in our scars. Everyone's been hurt in life, but not all hurt is the same. There are temporary bumps that bruises in the moment, but after a brief time of tender care you're back to normal and it quickly becomes a distant memory never to be visited again. Now hurt is hurt and none of it feels good. Whether it's getting a splitter in your finger, a paper cut, or stumping your toe, and from it we learn what to do or not to do in the future. The pain of a broken relationship or loss of a loved one, however, is very different yet even in that, God has a lesson for us to learn. There is victory in our pain.
Physically, scars develop from trauma to the deep layer tissues. Those tissues that no one can see with the naked eye, but we all have. The wound or hurt has to be deep enough to damage that level of the skin in order for a scar to form. The scar itself tells us that the blow was a deep one, so I am not minimizing what has been done. However, as the scar begins to heal, the pain of the wound should also dissipate until ultimately, you have a scar, but feel no pain.
Many of us are living with spiritual scars that pains us every time someone brushes up against it. Something has wounded us to the core and the fact that it still hurts tells us that it has not healed completely or properly.
I have a scar on my forehead from a deep cut I received when I was a child. The scar is still visible, but no matter how much I tap on it or brush against it there is no pain. Why? It's completely healed. On the other hand, I had an injury to my thumb that wasn't healing properly. It scarred over, but was still painful to the touch. Eventually, surgery was performed as my doctor realized there was a tumor that had developed under the skin which had become infected. It had the "appearance" of being healed, but sickness laid beneath the surface.
If we are truly going to get spiritually healthy we must deal with the infection underneath the scars we carry around that still hurt. Things like, "I shared my heart with someone and they betrayed my trust so I'll never give my heart again", "my child would not have walked away from God if we'd had strong teen leadership", or "my marriage is on the rocks why isn't someone in there doing more to help us", and so on. These are spiritual infections that are toxic to our walk. Scars that need to be reopened and cleaned out.
We worship an infinite God who goes by many names. And these names, scattered throughout Scripture, shows us facets of our wonderful creator. One of those names is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. Rapha: “to heal” “to make whole” “to properly mend by stitching” and “to repair.” God does all of these things for us through his healing power. With such divine power to heal and make new we sometimes find ourselves secretly asking, then why God leave us scarred?
Scars, most embarrassingly, are visible. When we carry scars it's not hidden from view no matter how much we dress it up. It is obvious to those around us when we pull back our hearts or distant ourselves because of hurt feelings. We say things like, 'I may forgive, but I won't forget' as a pacifier for coddling our pain, but God, the healer of all things, leaves us with a scar on purpose. It is a reminder, to us and to the world, not of what hurt us, but of what we've overcome.
The greatest wound in scripture, and the most beautiful example for us, is Jesus' death on the cross. God allowed his Son to be bruised and scarred for all to see - on purpose. Riddled with physical pain at the hands of others, relational abandonment and heartbreak from inner circle friends, spiritual brokenness orchestrated by God, our Savior was dealt a deep blow. The temple was torn in two from top to bottom creating an eternal scarring (proof of God's healing power) for the world to see. As Christians we are called to wear this scar boldly, not as a reminder of what hurt Jesus, but what Jesus overcame. “Do this in remembrance of Me."
The beauty of your scar is when it stands as a witness to what you've overcome.
But you must overcome!
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"(I Cor. 15:55)
Jehovah Rapha has the power, the willingness, and the authority.
He's waiting, however, for your surrender.
Give over to God what has wounded you and allow him to heal the places that still hurts.