*This is an old story I published elsewhere.
Give me a new body
Let me die and wake up as someone else
Feel the jagged lines on me
Wipe away this memory”
I believe that every one of us has scars. Memories of the injuries that we have because of the things we shouldn’t have seen, the wrong we’ve witnessed, the pain we’ve experienced, the loss of loved ones, the guilt that we can’t seem to wipe away and many, many more.
Some of our scars are both emotional and physical, like the ones from the injuries we inflict on ourselves or others have inflicted on us. But the worst thing about the scars is that they are ugly reminders to us. It’s hard to embrace a scar-a reminder that won’t go away. Whether we cover our wrists with beads, or we put on a mask to hide what’s underneath, or we run away to forget our past, these would always be temporary solutions to our “permanent” problems. Putting tattoos over our scars wouldn’t solve the real problem either.
Jesus had scars too. He seemed to wear them proudly as he showed them to his disciples after his resurrection- his reminder to them that he really was human while he was with them, and he suffered and died for them and for all people, including the people who gave him those marks.
I’m sure he also had some scars on his back from where he was wounded for our sin-for our disconnection from God, from love, and from everything good that we now long for but cannot seem to find.
I know that when he sees his scars, he doesn’t think of those who caused them(at least not in anger or hurt). I’m sure he thinks about you and me. I’m sure he thinks about us because he got them just for us.
Jesus is famous for saying, “come to me all of you who are burdened, and I will give you rest for your souls…”. He knows what it feels like to be betrayed by his best friends, abandoned by those he loved and trusted, ignored by those he helped or saved, used… .
He knows what it feels like to have the reminders of his hurt. But he knows how to heal the hurt. Peter, one of his closest friends, and disciple, literally denied him three times! When he came back to life, Jesus called him aside and asked, “Peter, do you love me?”, and three times Peter affirmed that he did. He was giving Peter a chance to rewrite history. Instead of “Peter denied Christ three times”, Peter gets to say that he affirmed his love for Christ three times.
We are susceptible to words. And often times, it is the wrong words that have scarred us, the promises not kept, love denied, love never given in the first place. Sometimes we bear the scars of the wrong that we ourselves have done. But the words of Jesus are words of grace and healing and words of love: “come to me all of you who are burdened, and I will give you rest for your souls…”
When we are reminded by our scars of the things we rather forget, we are reminded of ugliness and pain-pain that’s hard to forgive and let go of.
I believe that Jesus would love to show us a different perspective. I believe he’d love to take the load right off of us. He’d love to tell us how beautiful we are. He’d love to put his healing hands on our hearts, so when we look at our scars, we would see something different, something beautiful, like Peter who could say that he affirmed his love for Christ three times rather than remember how he hurt Jesus when he denied him the same number of times..
When he looks at his scars, he doesn’t remember the cruelty of the people that stabbed them into him, but he remembers us. He remembers that he was successful in saving us. The scars prove that he was. He took upon our suffering so that we wouldn’t have to anymore. That’s what his scars symbolize.
Only he can heal us completely and give us the ability to forgive. Only Jesus can work THAT miracle. 🙂
“I touched the scars of beauty
I felt the graceful bruise
Now I heal this memory
And make it all new
This scar is beautiful
And it’s owner too”
-By The Girl With the Beautiful Scars