Heal the Wound but Leave the Scar is the title of a song on the latest album by Point of Grace. It is a sweet song and as I was listening to it this afternoon it made me think of something that happened a couple weeks ago. The song is talking about the wounds as a result of mistakes made in life, bad decisions, that kind of thing. It maybe refers more to sin in our lives and things in the past that we are embarrassed about. I think is can be seen two ways though. Let me explain.
About two weeks ago, I was driving to Minot to go to the doctor (imagine that), about an hour drive for us. It is very normal in my world since the summer of 2004, that every time I am in a car by myself for any length of time I begin to think deeply about Micah and the accident that occurred. Generally, I have to relive parts of it. I am not sure why this happens, but it always does. I don't know if it is because I am in a vehicle and it was vehicle related, or just because I have some quiet, down time but either way it is a common thing in my world. I don't tell you this so you will feel bad for me, it is just part of my life and who I am now. Those are memories I have and marked a change in me, my life, and our family forever.
Anyway, this particular day I was hit much harder than I had in a long time. I was in tears most of the way (usually I cry but not that long). The memories were so vivid and took me right there again. I had to feel and see it all. After working through it, I wrestled with the Lord a little, wondering what is the purpose of that. Why do I need to feel it all and hurt so much again? Now, it never goes away, there is always pain, but not so intense any more except in moments like this one. I pondered for a long time the Lord's purpose in those painful memories but was unsure why it was necessary.
A couple days later, I again found myself in the vehicle for an extended drive by myself. That is when it occurred to me, I need to remember so as not to lose my compassion for others, especially during Christmas when so many are struggling. I spent that drive praying for others who I knew were hurting. This is not tooting my own horn. It obviously took a lot for the Lord to get my attention and put my focus on others.
The song this afternoon made me think about all that again. We all have wounds in our hearts, either from sin in our lives or painful things that happen along the journey. Whatever the wound is from is not important, what is important is that we have that scar to remind us of what God taught us through the pain. My prayer is that each wound the Lord heals in my life I only hope He leaves a large scar so I won't forget. Our scars should lead us to praise God for His mercy and remind us of the beauty there is in suffering (as the song says). They should lead us to compassion and hearts and hands that go out to others. We shouldn't hide those scars either. The Lord wants us to encourage others with them. As Steve Saint (son of martyred missionary Nate Saint) told me not long ago, "Don't be afraid to let your scars show."
Lord, thank you for leaving the scars in my life, and please continue to do so. Use them Lord to bring me to my knees in awe of your mercy and how you use broken hearts, and to inspire me to compassion toward others.