I heard a song on the way to church on Sunday that I loved. The song is called Perfect People by Natalie Grant. The chorus really caught me.....
There's no such thing as perfect people
There's no such thing as the perfect life
So come as you are, broken and scarred
Lift up your heart, and be amazed and be changed
By a perfect God
Not really sure why, but I started thinking about scars and what they really are. A scar marks where a wound was. Some scars eventually go away, some last forever. I have my share of scars. There is the one under my nose from when I fell out of the car when I was 5. There is the one on my knee that came from tripping during a lively game of tag in the 2nd grade. A chicken pox scar, a surgery scar, the list goes on. The one that really made me think though is on my left arm. Early in my marriage when I still worked at the bookstore, I ran into a shelf while trying to walk around my boss. The pain was instant and severe. I couldn't move my left arm much at all for the rest of the evening (which sucks as a lefty!) and for days my arm wasn't fully functional. My boss, husband, parents, in-laws and friends were all worried. Eventually though the pain was gone, I don't even really remember when, just one day it didn't hurt anymore. That scar however, does occasionally twinge a little when it gets bumped just right. It doesn't hurt, it twinges. It's not painful, it's uncomfortable; but the discomfort doesn't last for a long time. (My brain skipped around alot during this thought process so forgive me if I jump around a bit. I'm trying to make it make sense and still get all the parts in!) I also thought about another set of scars, the scars on my savior. The scars that mark the wounds that my sins gave him. Suddenly I realized that having scars is not bad. John 20 talks about the marks where the nails had been in Jesus' hands and feet and the spear mark in His side. Even Jesus, God incarnate, had scars. So I started thinking about emotional scars, another thing we all carry. I have often felt guilty when an old emotional scar "twinges". I wonder if I have truly forgiven if I can still feel these flashes of ick every now and then. On Sunday, I looked at my left arm and realized this: my arm is healed. There is a mark on my arm that occasionally will be uncomfortable for a few minutes but the wound is gone. The same is true of my heart. Occasionally something will bump up against my heart and I will feel hurt for a short time, but that doesn't mean that the wound is still there. It also doesn't make my faith less, or my forgiveness insincere. It makes it spot in my heart a scar but not an open wound. Anyone who has ever had a broken bone knows this same thing to be true. A bone that has once been broken, although it heals easily, will usually cause a person some discomfort when the weather is changing. The bone is no longer broken, it has mended and doesn't cause pain anymore, but when the weather changes the spot once broken feels uncomfortable and sometimes even painful.
I also thought of the purpose of scars. See they all serve different purposes. The one on my arm takes me back to a place of some comfort. I think of the best boss I have ever worked under in my life, a man of integrity who definitely influence several of us to be the best that we are. Or how about this, after bearing 3 children my body is not quite what it was when I was 20. I have stretch marks that didn't used to be there. Though I used to think they were awful, I see them now and am awed that somehow God allowed MY body to sustain life and those scars are the reminder of some uncomfortable stretching that produced great joy. Some of the scars in our heart are the same, they are from a time of stretching, but that time has produced beauty and spiritual growth. So I say all of this simply to say that each of us has scars both physical and emotional, but that doesn't mean that they are bad. They remind us of where a wound was not tell us where a wound still is.