The immutable marks of our story carry a purpose
The other day a dear writer I’ve come to admire shared a brief Twitter post suffixed with the hashtag of #AndThatsHowIGotThisScar. She recounts through a series of essays how she got her scar one Sunday in the City. It’s haunting and harrowing. But it is a beautiful description of transformation.
I’ve learned that our harrowing ordeals have a purpose and the pain Jesus endured on the cross of Calvary is no exception. Charles H Spurgeon pondered the reference to Luke 24 verse 20:
“What was to be seen on Christ’s hands and feet? We are taught that the prints of the nails were visible and that on his side there was still the gash of the spear. I wish to draw your attention to the ample fact, that our Lord Jesus Christ, when he rose again from the dead had in his body the marks of his passion. If he had pleased he could readily have removed them. He rose again from the dead, and he might have erased from his body everything which could be an indication of what he had suffered and endured before he descended into the tomb. But, no! Instead, thereof, there were the pierced hands and feet, and there was the open side.”
Like our Saviour, we too carry evidence of our wounds. The invisible scars in our hearts and soul, the scars no one sees, are marks of beauty. They are the hurts that draw us nearer to our mortality, that compel us to not look away from the condition of our souls. These wounds are the immutable marks that tell our story, a story perhaps we’re afraid to tell, a story perhaps we don’t want to remember.
A wounded heart can be transformed into a work of beauty and undeniable love by the hand of the Father. The wounds of my past—fatherlessness and childhood trauma—are permanent markers which the loving hand of the Father healed with His grace. As Linda Barrick wrote in her devotional, Beauty Marks: “Scars are reminders of the wounds we’ve endured. They trigger memories of the traumatic experiences we’d rather forget. We think scars are ugly. That’s why we’re driven to alter them, minimize them, or hide them.”
What an honor to be marked alongside our Saviour for eternity with the roadmap of love! In His eyes, are wounds are not happenstance. In His eyes, our wounds carry purpose.
My wounds are repurposed every year that passes. They testify to God’s redemptive power and His unfailing remembrance of our guilt and need for forgiveness. In this world of sin, we will be hit with sin committed against us, for no other reason than because we are. We are who we are because we need Him to redeem us from our brokenness, so He could look at our beautiful scars and gladly say, My beloved child, you are healed.
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3