Friday, March 4, 2011

scars

We live in a world that leaves scars.  Scars on our person, scars on our psyche, and even scars on our hearts.  I looked down to my hands the other day and saw the remnant of a scar from a long time ago and instantly the entire scenario that surrounded me getting that scar was playing vividly before my eyes.  I remembered the area I was in, the feeling of the day even, and the moment that I realized I had injured myself pretty badly.  The tears that poured from my eyes at that moment were pretty intense, though the memory doesn't bring up the physical pain, just the memory.

Why don't scars heal completely though?  I know there's a scientific/medical response to that question, but I'd like to go more deeply than that.  Every scar that I have is tied to a memory, and instance, and with those scars I am also able to remember growth!  They may lessen in appearance as they heal, but the passing of time doesn't make the memories go completely.

I have to wonder about emotional scars.  There are the small ones that cut you to the heart but are able to heal within a short amount of time - possibly 6 months to a year (this is short within in respect to a lifetime).  But, there are also the more deeply wounding scars.  The ones where it felt like the person ripped you heart apart, spread it out bare for all to see, and then poured salt on top of it with vengeance in their eyes.  Those scars take a much longer time to heal, if they every do completely.  A lot of the time these scars can only come from people that are close to us.  From those we love.

There are also scars associated with times in our lives.  These wounds are scrapped across our souls at a time when we feel like we cant move on.  When all that was light around us is swallowed by darkness and we think there isn't a way out.  We begin to heal when we come out from under the weight imposed by those deep wounds.  This is when we are able to see the reason for those wounds in the first place.

Each instance of scaring involves pain.  The healing process is different with regards to each as well, but I think the telling thing is the scar itself.  What you do when you look at a scar is what matters.  For instance, the scar on my hand, I look back to the time when I got it and smile now because I see a foolish mistake I made but how it has made me much more careful in the future.  Or maybe an emotional scar that has now healed - when you look on it, do you only rememberer the bad times? Or can you rejoice in the fact that you are now past that hurt and on to a new life?  Even the deep, soul-wounding scars that ripped you apart when they happened can be turned into something positive.  The goal is to be able to look back and remember where you were, what the situation was, and how God brought you through the trial.  

I think we have scars of all forms for the simple reason of remembering and then turning that remembrance into praises of thanksgiving.  God created our flesh, hearts, and minds with the ability to heal for a reason, but He also created the simple reality of scars.  The crucial element is in the way we remember those scars.