There is a billboard in my city that in it’s advertisement for beer says in bold letters:
No scars, no stories
I think this makes a great philosophy on life. Take my boots for example. If I step softly and avoid the puddles and mud and only wear them on safe, shiny floors, my boots would look nicer. Instead, they are scuffed up and weather-worn. The marks they carry hold tales of where they’ve been, what places I’ve stomped through.
My body has marks, too, scars from accidents, one from a surgery, my tattoos are a kind of scar as well, inked-art that I’ve willingly defaced my skin with. Each scar on my body has it’s story, too. And then there are the invisible scars, the ones you can’t see that are mapped out on my soul. Some of them, probably most of them, are self-inflicted. I am usually my own worst enemy, unkind thoughts go unchecked and embed themselves into my emotions, and then I bleed as the barbs of self-loathing tear across the unseen flesh of who I am. These scars carry the stories I don’t like to tell. They are like the secret diaries young girls keep hidden in the top of their closet. They are my private scars from my private stories.
Then there are the scars that others have given me, either intentionally and with malice or accidentally and in ignorance. Some of these scars are huge, snakelike, wrapped around my soul. Others are so small. They are but a trace of memory of a pain that happened so long ago so as to be forgotten. Yet each scar has it’s own story. Some I remember well, in vivid living color. Others, I cannot even remember who inflicted in upon me.
And there are the other kind of scars, the kind that I have done, the damage from my life upon another human being. It is this kind of guilt that can drive a woman to drink. I thnk this is why forgiveness is so vital to spiritual and emotional as well as mental health. It is one thing to forgive others who have wounded us; it is entirely another to forgive ourselves for having done the wounding.
I wonder about the scars of Jesus. His body was scarred for all of eternity. If you believe you will see him in the afterlife look for his scars. They’ll be there. And I believe I will be there, though scarless, forgiven and redeemed, able to live in the light of His Good Love because of those scars. The scars of Jesus are like tattoos. They are scars of love.
No scars, no stories. The scarred God keeps on his body for always the story of me. I am his scar.