How to Wear Your Scars

scars-4I’m going to start something brave here.

I often let you see my lens, but not my paintbrush.  How is it that paint spilled out on paper seems so much more vulnerable than snapshots of pixelated time?

I was on a favorite stock photography site looking for an image for this post and it hit me.  I should be creating more of what I see not simply finding something someone else has created that approximates it.  Creating for it’s own sake has fallen somewhere in the less-than-urgent crack between grad school and ministry.

But creating is at the heart of what makes me bravely who I am.

Then there are the scars.  Not the faded ones from a childhood of 23 surgeries, but the raw, hidden ones that rip at heart and hope and life itself.

We all have them.  Jesus has them. He sweated blood as His heart was breaking.  His scars where love pierced Him through tell us this… Scars remind us of where we have been.  They do not have to dictate where we are going. 

Love pierced the hands and feet of Jesus.  He wears the scars of love, not of nails.  And if we choose to walk in His love, we too will have scars.  Betrayal will come. Pain will come.  Being misunderstood, accused and cursed at.  It all rips open wounds in our soul.

scars-2But what if those ripped, torn places become the thin place and out of brokenness spills beauty and new life?

scars-7What if our scars remind of us that God’s goodness is forever?  What if scars remind us of His power even in the storm?  Of His faithfulness and that even if everyone we love walked away, He never would?

What if from our scars grew vineyards and orchards of fruitfulness and all things working together for good really means all things?

scars-3I don’t believe God ever plans our harm.  Ever.

But I do have a radical, fundamental belief in His ultimate power to redeem it all.  Every loss that colors our world.  Every pain that shades our experience.  Every betrayal that casts shadows on our journey.  Every time choosing Him, choosing love costs us a price few will ever understand, let alone see.  He sees. He knows. He weeps the tears that we cannot cry.

scars-6And He fuses those scars, weaving them with gold spilled from eternity right into our fractured, messy now. The gold glints and shimmers in the light of His gaze.

Suddenly that which has broken us becomes a place of beauty forged right in the fire of our struggle and we step in to the fellowship of His love-scars we could not have entered into any other way.  There every scar is precious.

There gold is spun from our scarred stories flung hard into the wide open arms of Grace.