There it is, scrawled on the inside of the cover. Even when the book is not open, I can see the words in my mind. “Let the scars show, “ he said. Those words have reverberated through my mind for the last eight years. We had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Steve Saint just a little bit over the next couple of years. We shared stories, the kind no one ever wants to share of children buried long before their parents. We connected at the heart level over loss – over scars.
Though the words have run through my mind a thousand times as I have said “yes” to speak here or there, or “yes” to talk to so and so, or “yes” to send a message to yet another parent who has faced loss, or “yes” in my own head to write another blog post about what God is teaching me, there is always some fear and trembling. The scars are scars for a reason, you see. They represent pain inflicted and sometimes they are still oh so tender. I also look at the scars and wonder at times, “What is the point?” “What do I know?” Yes, I have scars, but that does not make me an expert on their source.
I recently battled those thoughts as I held my finger in the air over the buttons. Delete or post? What would I do with what I had poured out onto the screen? How is this helpful to anyone at all? Do I really want to display the scars yet again?
Fear and trepidation ensue. I very nearly delete. Then I remember the words scrawled in the book and I post.
I wrestled through that morning, the morning of the day that we celebrate the birth of our son who is never there to celebrate with us. I wrestle over whether or not I should have posted. I know it’s silly. I know I over think, but it is reality for me. I grappled until I received a message that hit me upside the head. Sometimes I am so very slow and God is graciously patient with me. The message was from a friend saying she had shared my morning’s blog post with a hurting friend. The pain the friend was experiencing transformed into peace and hope upon reading it.
Why? I can guarantee it was not because of any profound thing that I had to say! I was reminded that morning, as I read those sweet words, it isn’t about me. The scars I bear aren’t about me. Every time I sit back down to the computer and pour my heart out in the form of words on the screen, or each time I stand up again to speak, or I pick up a pen and write a note, or I step through the door into the world of a hurting friend or stranger and bear my scars I am pointing to something far greater, deeper, and more profound than my scars or the words I share about them.
There is no hope in the scars I bear. There is no hope in my words.
I am pointing people to His scars and that is why this friend's pain turned to peace and hope. The very reason I can wake up each morning and bear my scars with true joy and certain hope is because of the scars He bears – Jesus Christ. He showed his scars too. John tells us all about it. The disciples were afraid, hiding, doors locked. Then there He was in the midst of them! Standing in the flesh He showed the scars of his hands, feet, and side. (John 20:20) One was missing and doubted, so again He appeared and demonstrated the scars. (John 20:27) He displayed them with confidence knowing they represented the hope of the world. They represent our hope.
How can scars represent hope? Because Isaiah 53:5 tells us that it is by the wounds that caused those scars that we are healed – healed from our sin, given hope, promised eternal life through belief in Him. Hallelujah!
Steve was right all those years ago. I must let the scars show. I let them show not so anyone will think I am anything great. Not so anyone will think I have some incredible strength or profound wisdom to share. None of those things are true. To be honest, I NEVER want my scars to point to me at all. I bear them daily, I show them with confidence because they point to the One who rose triumphantly from the grave and shows His scars to say to us there is HOPE.
“But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.” Isaiah 53:5
He was beaten and died. He can show the scars and offer hope because He rose again!